6 Ways For Students To Keep Their Motivation Levels High

By Daniel Wong

Just like that, it’s almost the end of the school year.

If you’re a student, how’s everything been going academically?

Most students start off the school year strong.

They don’t skip any classes. They do all the assigned readings. They complete their homework on time. They participate actively in class.

Then sometime later in the year, their motivation levels start to dwindle. It becomes difficult to even wake up for class in the morning!

It no longer feels like an exciting, new school year. Instead, it’s just another school year.

Sound familiar? I definitely went through that as a student.

As an education excellence coach and speaker, I work closely with students to help them make the most of their education.

A big part of maximizing your education is learning to keep your motivation levels high, even when all you feel like doing is watch TV or YouTube videos.

Here are six ways to stay motivated:

1. Work in 30-minute blocks.

For most students, 30 minutes of intense focus is a suitable amount of time before they should take a short break. On days when you feel particularly unmotivated, you can always tell yourself that you’re only 30 minutes away from your next break.

2. On a rough day, set your timer for five minutes.

On days when even 30 minutes seems too long, set a timer for five minutes and tell yourself that you can choose to take a break when those five minutes are up. Chances are that you’ll decide to continue working after those initial five minutes.

3. Do your hardest task first.

Once you finish this task, you’ll feel a surge of motivation. Don’t give in to the temptation of starting on the easiest task first.

4. Find out when you work best.

You probably work better during a specific time of day. For two weeks, keep a detailed log of how productive you are at different times of the day. What task were you working on? Were you able to focus well? What were your energy levels like? Once you determine when you work best, you can schedule the tasks that require more creative and analytical thinking for those times. On the other hand, when your energy levels are lower, you can do more routine tasks like completing your assigned readings.

5. Smile when you wake up.

There’s a field of psychology called proprioceptive psychology, where scientists have discovered that you can alter your behavior to alter your emotional state. For example, you don’t just smile because you’re happy; you can make yourself happier by intentionally smiling. So smile when you wake up—you’ll naturally begin to think about all the reasons you have to smile, and you’ll feel more motivated to start the day.

6. Set daily goals.

Setting daily goals is a way for you to keep track of your progress. I encourage you to set these daily goals at the end of the previous day, e.g. On Tuesday night, set your goals for Wednesday. Review your goals at the end of each day, and don’t forget to celebrate—even if it’s in a small way—your successes!

In closing…

I’m guessing that what you want most is to have a fantastic semester. I’m guessing that what you want now is to go on Facebook and Twitter. Start using these six techniques today, and don’t let what you want now prevent you from getting what you want most.

Daniel Wong is the author of "The Happy Student: 5 Steps to Academic Fulfillment and Success". He is an education excellence coach and speaker. He writes regularly at www.daniel-wong.com . Download his FREE ebook, "The Unhappiness Manifesto: Do You Make These 150 Mistakes In The Pursuit Of Happiness?", here . Download his other FREE ebook, “Singapore Scholarship Guide: The $500,000 Decision”, here .


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