Staying Motivated

A few tips for staying motivated in the quarantine blues.

Staying Motivated

Here we are, a few weeks into zoom university. And I have hit a wall. 


And I hit it hard.


The first couple of weeks were easy, they were a breeze. I’d wake up early, get my school work done, then I’d do my workout. I had a productive day. I was still in my school routine, my body was waking me up at the same time I did when I was at school, going to sleep early.


But now, I am up until midnight watching TV, scrolling aimlessly through all my social media. I get out of bed at 11, then sit at my desk for an hour not doing any work and then take a “break” by doing laps around my house, finding something to do that inst my school work. 


This is the wall I hit.


Unmotivated, tired, lazy, and over this quarantine. I wasn’t helping myself. I didn’t want to do anything except sit around. I wasn’t completing my homework to the best of my ability, because why should? It felt like we weren’t in school, so why do school work? 


But we are in school, not just me, but all of us. We all have classes to keep up with, we have assignments, finals, projects, and teachers to keep up to date with. And it can all be very overwhelming at times too. 


But I feel that I have figured out the right mix of tips and tricks to get a good routine for me in this new, temporary, world we are living in. And I would like to share them with you all today. 


1 .Going to bed at a reasonable time and waking up at a reasonable time are so important. 


If you go to bed early, you can wake up earlier, this would allow you to get started on your schoolwork earlier and get it done. What I have done with this is, I wake up around 8 or 8:30, I get up and do all my school work before moving on to my next activity of the day. I do this because it makes me feel more accomplished, and I don’t have anything to worry about for the rest of the day. 


2 .Make a to-do list, physically write it down on a piece of paper. And put it somewhere you can always see it.


I do this before I go to bed at night. “Plan tomorrow today” is what I like to do. This is so when I wake up, I know exactly what I have to get done. And so I am not worrying or trying to think of things I have to do when I am trying to go to bed. I also tend to make a very long list of things I need to get done. Especially when I am trying to plan my week. So what I like to do is get 5 sticky notes and write Monday, Tuesday… etc. On them, then list out what I will do on those days, and then I will worry about them when that day comes. 


3 .Put your phone away for a bit. Limit your distractions. 


This is so hard to do, trust me I know. This is something I am still working on, especially when I sit down to do my homework. My screen time has shot up since being home, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, but it’s important to remember our priorities. When you sit down to do your schoolwork, that’s your priority. Your homework should be your focus, not scrolling through Instagram for the 30th time looking at the same pictures (that’s definitely not something I do). Even limiting your distractions is important all around, finding somewhere quiet within your home to do homework is important. 

4 .Take breaks, it’s ok.


Don’t be scared to take a break, but take them in moderation. You shouldn’t write a sentence and then decide you need to take a break because that was a lot of brain power you just used. Don’t lie to yourself. But you don’t want to overwhelm and overwork yourself, take you time, do things slowly. Do all your work for one class, then move on to the next. Try to avoid doing everything at once. 


5 .Be realistic and set rewards. 


Being realistic about the goals you have are important. Try to avoid writing a huge to-do list with things for the week and expect to do it all in one day. It’s hard to sit all day and focus on tiny tasks. And once you do accomplish something, reward yourself. Take a walk, eat some ice cream, have 30 minutes of screen time before moving on to your next project. Don’t be harsh on yourself. 


These tips and tricks are only helpful if you let them be. Invite new ideas and new practices into your life. Try just one of these tips for a day, the next day add one more. Sometimes if you try to switch up the routine you are already in today, it can be overwhelming. Start small, start slow. You got this!