First, I’ll mention that while Merriam-Webster doesn’t appreciate the word “motivationless,” Wikipedia does, however – and that’s good enough for me.
With one week to go, the sting of sleepless nights abounding, and more than enough homework for hours in a day, I’m left to classify myself as motivationless. I’ve spent my fair share of study sessions staring at a blank Word document, but now it’s time to grit my teeth and finish well.
Here’s my advice to those of you out there still trucking along:
Congratulations are in order! You. Are. Alive. You are sitting at a computer at the end of another semester, another day, another cup of coffee. Whatever you were trying to accomplish – you did! You didn’t pass out or rip all your finger nails out. Enjoy knowing that you can make it, and celebrate another day. In order to continue, here are some things I have learned in my three weeks shy of 21 year life:
1. Find your muse.
Music should literally be called the soundtrack of life, because it’s consistently on in the background. Whether your study or work mood is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mumford and Sons, Adele, Usher, or my personal favorite – Right Away, Great Captain – find what puts you in the mindset of getting things done.
2. Understand your tolerance level.
In the gambling words of Kenny Rogers, “Know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.” Know when to strive on and when to shut the books and get some shut eye. Only you can fully fathom what your body needs and what your mind can deduce.
3. Consider your outlets.
For me, when the going gets tough enough for me to walk away I gather my outlets and choose either running or working out, baking, or cleaning anything. Luckily, these are all extremely positive and helpful things in the long run. If your outlets are negative, discouraging, or unhealthy I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking this piece of advice to heart. Maybe keep one of my outlets in mind and try it out.
4. Cry and move on.
This one isn’t just for women, contrary to popular belief. The basic idea is to let out all those emotions, it’s okay, just let them go. Cry. Scream. Punch your pillow. Take a moment to focus on your feelings. Be careful though, I’m saying just a moment. After that, kick those tears and fears aside and get ‘er done.
5. Invest in a planner.
Call me nerdy, but this is a lifesaver. If you can’t bring yourself to actually buying one, use some paper. Plan out your week or even your day. Make sure you learn some time management so you can be efficient with all your waking hours.
6. Seek out the perfect niche.
There must be one place you feel comfortable enough to recline but upright enough to focus. Find your corner, your couch, your coffee shop – the one you love. This will make work feel much better and probably more productive.
8. Get off Facebook and put down your phone.
You won’t get things done if you are constantly checking your text messages or looking for your next notification or status. Don’t let these be priorities during the rough times. Click out of Pinterest, allow it to be a reward IF you know you will get things done before then. It’s okay to drop the social networking ball every now and then.
Whether this goes before or after the crying part, this might do the trick to relax you. Take a deep breath, hold it for three seconds, and slowly let it out. Do this three times in a row, your heart will slow down and you will feel more at ease. Along with this: Pray. You are not alone. You (hopefully) attended class and listened. You know the answers. Don’t let the burden of tests or projects or papers weigh down on you.
9. Remember that this too shall pass.
A wise person recently said, “Finals aren’t the most important thing you will do in your life.” Moving, getting a job, marriage, children… the list goes on. You have bigger fish to fry. Tests are tests.
And with that, I say – keep fighting. You’ll do great.