Staying Motivated in College

Motivation may be key to success, but it’s also one of the most difficult keys to acquire! I’m one of those people who feel really motivated after accomplishing just one thing, because it makes me want to accomplish everything else that I have to do. Then, once I’m done with all my work, I get this weird feeling because I want more, but by the time I get it, the motivation has passed and it takes me forever to get started again.

Below you’ll find some problem-solving aids I’ve implemented to help keep my motivation (or create it).

Make lists.

Something about having everything I need to get done in the next day or two written down makes me want to sit down and do it all. A lot of the time, we psych ourselves out by thinking we have such a huge workload that we get overwhelmed, but once it’s all written down it doesn’t seem that bad. Knowing the work won’t be as time consuming or difficult as I initially thought is a huge motivator!

Tackle easy things first.

This is so important! If you start with the most time consuming and difficult task, you’re going to drain all of your energy, and the smaller things may not get done. Go for the easiest, quickest of your tasks first so that the accomplishment will motivate you for the harder tasks to come. This way, you’ll also ensure that you won’t run out of time for everything else you have to do — because it will already be done.

Get help from friends.

My friends yell at me to do my work more than my parents used too. Let your friends know when you have a lot of work to get done and what your deadlines are so they can remind you. Or, at the very least, they can not invite you to things that are more fun than sitting around doing homework, so you don’t feel the urge to skip it. If that won’t work, use going out with your friends as the motivation to get your work done. Whatever works best for you.

Pat yourself on the back.

Self-validation is key to success! There is nothing wrong with being proud of a job well done. If you get all of your work done, or even some of it, consider it a win. Don’t underestimate even the smallest victories like reading for class or writing a short paper. Reward yourself in some small way–a break, a snack, planning something fun with friends, a Netflix hour, etc.