Tomorrow marks the beginning of December: a month of fun, festivities and filling our tummies with lots of Christmas goodies. It shouldn’t be a month of stress, deadlines and getting by on very few funds. But, for those of us at university (and even for you guys at school or in work) the latter is often the case. I personally have a massive assignment deadline coming up in the last week of term, and it’s already lead to me to stressed tears, rants over the phone with friends and generally having to go into hibernation for a week to make sure I get it done on time. However, it can literally be so hard to knuckle down and get everything done when the promise of Christmas and all its relaxing glory is so close, yet so far. My brain tends to shut down at this time of year, because mentally it’s already Christmas for me, so subconsciously I tend to tell myself ‘it’s practically Christmas, therefore uni, you ain’t getting no effort from me’. This can be extremely dangerous with deadlines just around the corner. So, I’ve had a lil think and I’ve thrown together some ways that you can get over this slump in motivation at the end of term, to make sure you can produce your best work and stay on top of things right up until the Christmas break. This is just as much a note for myself as it is for you guys, because seriously, it’s time to get me act together.
Try and make the experience as pleasant as possible
At the beginning of a new term, I absolutely love popping to Paperchase and grabbing as many cute notebooks and folders as possible. Because if everything looks pretty, then you’re more likely to want to write in it, right?
Clear your desk of all the clutter that isn’t needed for your study session. As me Grandma always says, ‘a tidy room equals a tidy mind’. You’re going to be more productive if things are in order, as then you can focus.
The same goes for organising your work. Make sure everything is ordered neatly into (the cutest) folders, because no one likes a notebook with scrawled bits of paper sticking out the top. It makes life easier if things have their place, are in order and you know where to find them. Scheduling is also important – make sure you know what your goals are each time you sit down to do some work. Plan, plan, plan.
Get in the zone by listening to some music
I urge you to get onto Spotify now and create a ‘chill’ playlist. Whack it on and you’ll be ready and raring to go. If that fails, I suggest meditation music on YouTube- I know I sound like a complete and utter hippy by saying this, but seriously, it works. If all else fails, find a motivational video that’ll put you in the right mind-set. I have been known to watch these if I’m feeling particularly non-productive. However, you need to make sure the ‘recommended’ list along the sidebar doesn’t tempt you with Zoella’s latest vlog, because then you’re entering the dangerous territory of procrastination and we really do not want that.
Learn to switch OFF
And by that I mean our phones. Shock horror, I know. How could I possibly say such a thing?
This is honestly so hard to do, but you’ll be the better for it. Things will get done quicker and you’ll be at your most productive as there’s no distractions. Even as I’m writing this now, an Instagram notification has popped up on my phone and the struggle not to click on it and see how many likes I’ve got is real. I’m trying to set a good example by sticking to my advice, but man it’s hard.
Then there’s the good old trick of listing
Find yourself your oh-so-beautiful Paperchase refill pad, open it up (maybe after you’ve snapchatted a pic of how cute it is) and write down a list of the things you want to achieve today. You could even go all out and list them in order of priority. Once you’ve done that, get to work. I cannot tell you enough how satisfying it is to be able to cross off each task as you go along. Heck, you could even write down something you’ve already achieved at the beginning, just so you can go to town with crossing out that list. It’s v, v therapeutic.
Set rewards for yourself
You need some #goals. Once you’ve completed a task, treat yo’self. It can be as simple as a chocolate bar, or a twenty minute’s break on your phone. Or, you could alternatively go all out and do some retail therapy afterwards – no lie, that is my plan for today. Seriously, it’s what’s getting me through. Like, seriously.
Try to remind yourself of the destination
You may currently be studying for a degree like myself, you could be completing your GCSE’s or A Levels, or you could just be doing your day job. Whatever it is you’re doing, you’ll ultimately have a goal in sight. Maybe you want to get the grades to go to your dream university, or you want that promotion you’ve been pining after. Whatever it is, it can happen with enough hard work and motivation. You are good enough to succeed, so there’s no time like the present to speed ahead on track. Every single second counts. If that’s not motivational enough for ya, then I don’t know what is.
I do apologise, because I’ve caved. My reward at the end of the post was going to be a packet of Hulahoops I had in the kitchen cupboard. Not exactly exciting I know, but I’m a student with zero funds and nothing in. I ate them before the end of the post. They were surprisingly fulfilling.
I also checked my phone, because that Instagram notification was too much to bear, I’m telling you.
Anyway, do what I say, not do as I do and all that jazz. Whoopsy!