I'm going to make a sweeping assumption here. Every student in every field of study has struggled to get motivated to do schoolwork. Burnout is real, and it leaves the motivation piggybank pretty low at all times. Especially in accelerated programs that cram 2 years of content into 1, it's often hard to force yourself away from the Netflix to get back to studying. Although I was a part of an accelerated nursing program that taught 4 years of content in 2 years, I still managed to stay on top of my studies. Keep reading to find out how I stayed motivated with a few simple techniques for re-booting when focus runs low.
1. Treat yo' self!
As a wise duo of Parks & Rec characters once said, "Treat yo' self!" If you don't have a reward system in place for completing your studies, then you're missing out big time on some huge motivation. A reward can be big or small. It can cost absolutely nothing, or it can include buying yourself some fancy gift you've been eyeing down at the mall. Throughout nursing school, I motivated myself with rewards all the time. For example, I wouldn't let myself check my texts until I finished one section of notes (treat yo' self). In another example, I told myself that if I could finish 3 chapters of flashcards in one day, then I could buy myself a new pair of shoes (treat yo' self). Your reward can be as simple as going outside for some fresh air, or as silly as putting a gummy bear at the end of each paragraph in your textbook while reading (TREAT. YO. SELF). Or, if you don't get any of these lame attempts at jokes, you can reward yourself by binging Parks & Recreation on Netflix.... as long as you've completed your homework for the day. 😉 Whatever your treat may be, make sure you follow through on rewarding yourself with what you had promised!
2. Get up & move
I know the easiest thing to do while tired is to spend some quality bonding time with your bed. Unfortunately, laying around might only make you more tired and less motivated to get to work. If you're feeling the motivation running low, you should try getting up and getting active, even if it's only for a few minutes. Go for a walk, stretch it out with some yoga, or go ramp up the energy with a weight lifting session. Whatever it may be, it's useful for your energy levels to get your blood pumping! So, get off the couch and give it a try.
3. Study in the most enjoyable way possible
This one seems a bit intuitive, but it should not go without mentioning. If your study routine feels like torture, why would you ever want to go through with it? Try to make your study session as enjoyable as possible. Make sure your study space is comfortable. Play your favorite instrumental music playlist on Spotify. Make some yummy tea or coffee to sip while you're hitting the books. Bring your laptop out into the great outdoors and soak up a bit of Vitamin E while you absorb all that knowledge. If you get lonely while studying, grab a friend so that you're not alone! All of these tips will make studying a lot less dreadful. Heck, you might even look forward to studying if you get creative enough!
4. Stop studying
This tip, on the other hand, is quite counter-intuitive. Hear me out, though. If you've been cramming for hours on end, you need to take a rest. There is no possible way you will feel happy and motivated at all if you are constantly running on fumes. You need to let your brain relax so that you don't drive yourself crazy. Scheduling rest breaks, or just taking them when you feel exhausted, are equally as important as your time spent working. How are you going to retain any information if your brain is overstimulated and overtired? I'll answer that for you. You won't. So, kick your feet up for a minute, go back to point number 1, and take a well-deserved rest with a treat of your choice. Happy studying!