It’s February and you’re more than halfway there – it’s important to remember that you have done so much work already. It is also at this stage that your motivation may waver. When it does, you should recognise that it is part of the process and everyone struggles with it at some point. Below are some tips and advice on how to keep motivated when the February blues set in.
Focus on your goals
Everyone’s are different. Realising what yours are and what they mean to you will help you stay focused. Give yourself time to think about them, go ahead and make a list. Keep it in your pencil case or your wallet.
To get yourself started, think about what doing well in your exams will help you achieve. Think about the personal challenges that it might help you overcome. Remember that you are doing this for yourself.
Find your best study environment
Again, this is different for everyone. Some people prefer to study alone where it’s quiet and there’s no friends to distract you. Others prefer the library or supervised study because they find that the presence of others working motivates them.
Once you know where you study best, get yourself comfortable. Make sure you’re neither too hot or cold and have a cup of tea or a glass of water at the ready. Keep your desk tidy and organised. Most of all, stay away from that phone and any other distractions.
Break it down
You should remember the bigger picture when thinking about achievements. But when it comes to the workload, do the opposite. Thinking about the amount of study you have to do can be daunting but also isn’t reflective of the actual workload – break it down!
For each subject, think about the topics and then focus on key words. That will make your study much more manageable and will give a realistic idea of what work needs to be done. Once a topic is covered, you’ll have the satisfaction of crossing it off your list.
It’s still some time before your exams, meaning it’s a while before the big pay-off. But the work is being done all this time so it’s a good idea to treat yourself with something small at the end of an intense study session. Even something as simple as a favourite snack or a cinema trip at the end of a busy week. That way you can celebrate the small things along the way. At the end, the small things become the big accomplishments.
At the same time, don’t beat yourself up when you miss a study session or fall a little bit behind. You’ll find the time to make up for it and bringing yourself down will affect how motivated you are in the future.
Take care of your mental health
Your headspace and wellbeing can affect your levels of motivation the most. It can be hard to remain inspired to study when you feel down and stressed out. There’s small steps you can follow to prevent that from happening. Eat healthy, drink loads of water and get a good night of sleep. That’s a start.
What can really make a difference is knowing when to put the books down and take a rest. Always take regular breaks and put some time away at the weekend to do something you enjoy and forget about studying for a few hours. When you come back to it, you’ll have a clear head and will be ready to start again.