How to Become More Motivated During Finals – What Works for Me, and Might Work for You

It's Dead Week, finals and projects are popping up everywhere, a constant stream of work to be done. I think most people are extremely motivated these last weeks, but sometimes the daunting tasks that await us can make us unmotivated and unproductive instead. Here are some tips that I have found help me become more motivated to continue studying. I hope something here helps.

  1. After you wake up, immediately start working

For me, I know that if I wake up and delay studying (especially on a weekend) my whole day will not be as productive. Even if I just read a paragraph, write a few sentences or look at some diagrams quickly before working out or eating breakfast, I’ll want to come back to that task, and this makes me more motivated and productive.

  1. At the end of your day, list what you have accomplished and what you want to do tomorrow

Sometimes before I go to bed I only write down all the stuff I need to do the next day (which can be stressful) and forget to appreciate the work I did that day. Being proud of yourself for what you have done can make you more motivated to do more the next day. If you’re feeling especially unmotivated, write down even the smallest of tasks that you have accomplished, even mundane things like folding your laundry or cooking dinner.

  1. Think about why

I think it’s important to keep in mind why you are studying, and why you are in college. What do you want to do after you graduate? What kind of person do you want to be? No matter what you are studying, you do not want to be incompetent at your dream job. Everything you do and learn will help construct this future you imagine for yourself.

  1. Watch a YouTube video of a person you admire

This goes along with number 3; to remind myself where I want to be in a couple of years, I watch a video of a person I admire, doing the things I want to do, living the life I want to be living. For example, there is this medical resident vlogger that I look up to, and watching her videos makes me excited for the future.

  1. “Treat yo self” during study breaks

Yes, that is a Parks and Recreation reference. But I don’t mean go out on a spending spree all day. Think about what can make you happy for a couple of minutes. Study for an hour and then go cuddle with your dog, or take a short walk, listen to a short podcast, or read a comic or book…just do something small that will take your mind off studying, and that you’ll enjoy.

  1. Make another list – all the fun things you want to do after finals

I am not sure how motivating this is, but it definitely makes me hopeful. Remember all the presentations and testing will be done in a couple of weeks, and then we can go have fun. I like making things, so on my breaks I think of new crafting projects I can start doing after finals and what new places my friends and I can go explore.

  1. Place it all in perspective

What are you thankful for? If you’re reading this online, there’s one – you have internet! There will always be people in the world who have much less than you do. People who have no home, nothing to call their own, whose lives are in constant danger. The list can go on and on. Just take a moment to remember that you are lucky, in one way or another, and you have the power to choose your future. You have the opportunity to learn, grasp it with both hands.