By: Phoenix Robertson
The first quarter of this school year is almost complete. Homework is starting to pile up, tests seem to be more and more frequent, and this kind of stress leaves a lot of students wondering why they were ever optimistic about the school year. If this describes you, you are certainly not alone. Every year, students hit this kind of slump and struggle to get out. These issues cannot only impact your grades, but also your personal life–and potentially your health. While I am not a medical professional, I am a student who has felt the effects of a lack of motivation. This article will include a few tips and tricks that I have come up with that I have found helpful in trying to get over my own school-time slumps.
- Remember your end goal.
Having a premade goal before you begin a task can help you stay motivated while you work towards the completion of that task. Completing homework, studying for tests and quizzes, and other school work is not any different. Before you start working on your schoolwork, or any work for that matter, try to create a reasonable goal for yourself. By a reasonable goal, I mean a goal that can feasibly be completed. By creating a reachable goal and then reaching said goal, you are motivating yourself to continue creating and reaching more goals. When you feel discouraged by your work and don’t want to complete the task at hand, think about how great it will feel once you have reached your goal. If you need a bit more motivation than just reaching your goal, provide a small prize for yourself as a reward for reaching your end goal.
- Learn proper time management.
Time management is a skill that most teachers have been preaching to you since the time you first walked into a school, and it isn’t a skill that magically becomes inconsequential once you leave the classroom. The ability to manage yourself and your time are skills that are applicable to all areas of life, including school work completion. In terms of using good time management skills to complete homework, before you begin working on your homework, look over the tasks that you have to complete for that day and estimate how much time you will need to spend to complete each task. Pick a task to begin with and set a timer for the estimated amount of time you will need to complete this task; then,try to complete the task before the timer runs out. This helps you to learn time management skills in a format similar to a game.
- Taking breaks.
A key aspect to staying motivated, especially when it comes to something you don’t want to do, such as schoolwork, is having something to look forward to. By implementing breaks into your work schedule, you are providing yourself something to look forward to, as well as working to prevent burnout. The frequency of your breaks are up to you and should be based on the amount of time that you spend studying. For example, if you feel that you need more frequent breaks, work for 25 minutes and take a break for 5 minutes. If you have the ability to work for longer periods of time, then try working for 1 hour and then take a 10 minute break. This suggestion is derived from the “Pomodoro Technique”.
- The proper playlist.
There is a playlist for absolutely anything and everything on the internet. You can find a playlist to clean your room to and a playlist to make you feel like a villain from another century, so you can certainly find a playlist that helps you feel motivated enough to do your homework. My tip is to find a playlist that keeps you motivated enough to keep working, but not distracted from your work. If you are someone who struggles with staying focused when there are words in the songs you are listening to, then I would recommend listening to instrumental versions of songs you already like. Also, premade playlists are not the only way to have background music to your studies; if you have enough free time, you can create your own playlist on a site such as Spotify or YouTube. Be sure to pick songs that are motivational and uplifting, but not distracting.
I hope that you have enjoyed this article and found some of these tips useful. Please note that I am not a person who has particularly special knowledge of study techniques or the brain and how it receives information. I am a high school student who has spent a large portion of her life studying and wanted to share a few tips that I have found helpful. Comment down below if there are any tips that you find helpful that aren’t included in this list.