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Mental Health

Tips on How to Stay Motivated

With finals week quickly approaching, many of us are losing the will to study or even get up in the morning in time for class. The end of the semester is so near yet so far, and at this point even I don’t feel like putting in any effort. But let’s be honest here, as much as we all want to sleep in and escape the black hole that is finals week, we can’t afford to fail our classes. Think about all the effort you’ve put in so far (if you haven’t, then I’m not judging) with all those study sessions, frantic emails you’ve sent to your professors demanding that they round up your grade, and all-nighters. Everything you’ve done will mean nothing. So, as a way to help others and myself, I’ve come up with some strategies that are sure to spark some sort of motivation even in the most unmotivated people on earth.

Yes, with a lack of motivation comes procrastination. I admit, I *sometimes* procrastinate on studying for a test and then desperately cram the hour before. Believe it or not, you can actually use this procrastinating time to take care of yourself. Weird concept, I know, but what I do is I think of my procrastination as a "mental break" where instead of pointlessly laying in bed I put on a nice face mask, watch an episode of You on Netflix and take my time. More importantly, don’t feel guilty about it! Actually enjoy what it is that you’re doing instead of freaking out internally about all the work you have to do. Chances are that if you actually enjoy what you’re doing during a break, you’ll feel better at the end and have more motivation to start your work. Be sure to set a time for yourself when you want to transition into work time, though. I do this sometimes and it helps me feel more focused and motivated because I gave myself a mental break from homework.

Another strategy I have is looking at mansions for sale on Zillow.com. Since one of my life goals is to be successful, I go on Zillow and look at local mansions for sale. By doing this, I’m showing myself what I can have in the future if I work hard now. This will enable you to feel more motivated, and it can apply to anything! Let’s say your goal is to one day become a senator. Well, look up articles about senators who have shared their successful journeys. Essentially, by looking at your goal or goals, you will feel more motivated to achieve them than by just thinking about them.

Another tip that you may have heard is to reward yourself along the way. I recommend you try to reward yourself with break time or even with snacks. Personally, I tell myself that if I finish writing one article in an hour, then I will allow myself two episodes of my favorite show. You can do the same! The psychology behind this is pretty cool. We all know that working non-stop is harmful and hinders productivity, so by rewarding yourself with a break you allow yourself to return back to work more focused and motivated. Plus, you’ll look forward to finishing whatever it is that you’re working on.

Lastly, I recommend you try listening to a lo-fi playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube. I don’t know what it is about this genre, but it makes me concentrate on whatever it is I’m doing. I even made my own playlist on Spotify, and honestly, it makes me look forward to working on homework. Now, you can obviously choose whichever genre and songs you want. What’s important is that you aren’t super distracted by the lyrics but if you are someone who gets easily distracted then I highly recommend you checkout lo-fi hip-hop or jazz-hop. Before you go, you can find my Spotify playlist right here!

Overall, it’s fairly normal to experience a lack of motivation since we’re so close to the end of the semester. However, it’s imperative that you don’t let that feeling become the reason why you failed your finals and classes. Hopefully, my odd tips and tricks will help you stay motivated, even by a little bit.

Images: 1, 2, 3

Saarah Sherifi is a writer for HerCampus UCF and is the founder of the online news company, Stronger in Unison.
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