Getting motivated seems like the most difficult thing to do nowadays. I’m literally every day, all week stuck in my room, in my house, with minimal change of scenery, and very limited human contact.
Of course it’s gonna be hard! And to make matters worse, the whole world (especially school) expects us to act as if everything is normal. As if nothing is happening, and even though it’s wrong to ignore the fact that a lot of people are having trouble coping with a global crisis, we have no other choice than to try to be strong, stay safe, and carry on with your tasks.
To ease the stress, here are five ways to stay motivated during an online semester:
- Schedule your time!
I know this seems pretty basic, but hear me out. Scheduling your time will allow you to focus on a certain task while still having free time to look forward to after. If you don’t plan out your day, you might either get carried away with work, leading to potential burnout, or spend the whole day procrastinating, which is okay, but it must be done moderately. Having a plan will help you structure your daily tasks and encourage you to create a prioritizing system for assigning an order to each assignment.
- Mix work with play
Find a balance! It is possible. Perhaps not in all cases, but for instance, my major is mostly numbers, so most of the time I’m doing math exercises. That means I don’t really need to shut myself out from all the noise to focus. On the contrary, I like to put my favorite playlist on everytime I’m working with numbers and it always gets me so pumped up and in a good mood for the rest of the day. Another example is reading in some place fun and different, like in a small picnic out on the roof or your backyard. Reflect and find those moments in which you can mix work with play. I promise the results will be rewarding.
- Don’t think about the macro, think of the micro
I know how easy it can be to feel drowned in work and assignments. Most of the time, this leads to mental blockage and not knowing how to start. My mom once shared with me the following piece of advice, and since then, it’s been my key to tackling work: “Mija, no mires el completo, mira los pedazos” (which means, “Don’t focus on the big scenario, focus on the details”). What she meant by that is to take things easy and divide your assignments. I do my work little by little, but with the goal of completing the whole project. Sometimes, witnessing all the workload you have can become overwhelming, but remember: you can’t eat a big cake in one bite, it takes a few spoonfuls.
- Ask for help!
The definition of being independent includes knowing when you need help. During this particular time, having friends and family to help me carry on with my online classes has been my rock. I like to do things on my own, but acknowledging that I can do better if I ask for help has been a game-changer. For example, sending my friends some essays for feedback, helping my little sisters with their math homework, doing assignments with my classmates, and just giving each other that emotional support we ache for. Remember, you’re not alone!
Yes, by far, the best way to get motivated. Seems a little bit extreme but, as a sensitive gal, this is my go-to. Sometimes I bottle up so much I just need to let it all out in order to keep going. Online classes are the worst, especially if I’m teaching myself!
It can definitely get ugly, but crying is a healthy coping mechanism. I usually feel relieved after a session. Crying has often been labeled as a negative feeling, yet denying grief and frustration can actually be more harmful in the long run. It’s important to keep our emotions on track, and it’s good to allow yourself to feel what you need to feel in the moment.
At the end of the day, we can’t be too hard on ourselves for our momentary feelings. Life just keeps getting weirder and crazier as days go by; and at these times, having been able to get to this point without completely losing our minds is already something to be proud of.
The most important thing in staying motivated is wanting to be motivated, and since you’ve read to the end of this article, it can only mean you’re at least trying. You’re doing a great job and I strongly believe that better times will come. Stay safe!