4 easy tips to be (and stay) motivated

Four easy tips to be motivatedSpring semester is here, and that means it’s time to get back into the routine of classes, homework and studying. There’s just one problem. You just had a month-long break filled with holiday celebrations, and your mind is still foggy from the sugarplums that decided to take residence in your brain. So how do you get yourself motivated again?

1. Take it One Step at a Time
Don’t start your semester by procrastinating. Things seem much more manageable when you have a smaller to-do list. When projects get put off and that to-do list of yours starts getting bigger and bigger, it’s very easy for panic to start setting in. Make yourself tackle at least one project or one task a day. Start with the easier, quicker tasks and get them out of the way. By making these small daily achievements you’ll build confidence. And the semester will go much more smoothly if you’re not cramming it all in during finals week.

2. Reward Yourself
If you’re having trouble getting started on your schoolwork, promise yourself a reward once you’ve completed it. For example, you could reward an hour of studying with 15 minutes of an activity you find enjoyable; like video games, TV, or reading your latest page-turning novel. If you finish a project or paper, take yourself out for a treat before starting your revisions. Promise yourself some sort of reward each time you complete a step or task and you’ll be much more relaxed, happy and motivated.

3. Get Moving
It’s very difficult to keep your mind stimulated when your body has been in one attitude for an extended period of time. When you’re studying or doing homework and start to feel your thoughts drifting away, get up and move! Go grab yourself something to eat or drink, take a walk around the building, or even just go to the restroom. Take 15 minutes and get your body moving. You’ll find that when you get back to your books, it will be much easier to keep your mind focused.

4. Don’t Do it Alone
It is much easier to get things done if you have someone holding you accountable for your actions. Form a study group or find just one study buddy. Schedule time once a week to get together and work on projects or help each other study for exams. This way, you have set dates and times that your schoolwork will definitely get done.

Do you have any tips and tricks that have worked for you in the past? Share them in the comments below and have a successful semester!

Image credit: stevendepolo, Flickr, CC-BY, cropped

About the Author

Jackie Zwerg is the Graphic Design and Digital Media Assistant in CCA’s Communications Department. She has a B.A. in Design Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and has over 5 years of experience working in graphic design, photography, and communications.  


  1. Phil Weston

    January 28, 2014

    Great guidelines for the process of learning, Jackie!

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