Tips for Regaining Your Motivation

Welcome to February! Now that we’re into the full swing of the second half of the winter semester, it’s time for us to check-in with ourselves and see how we’re doing physically and mentally. Are we sticking to the resolutions we swore to stick  by at the beginning of January? Or, are we starting to feel a little burned out by school work? If you find that your motivation is waning now that February is upon us, here are The Point’s tips on how to regain your motivation so that you’re not stuck in an uninspired, negatively draining slump for the rest of the semester.

1. Take a Break

Illustration by Cathy Wilcox, from the Sydney Morning Herald

Illustration by Cathy Wilcox, from the Sydney Morning Herald

When we’re swamped with deadlines and tasks to do, it’s easy for us to say we have no time to take a break. The Point is here to tell you to take breaks – they’re important. Breaks are not wastes of time, they are much needed for us to recharge ourselves when we’re just a little too burnt out from reading our textbooks for 3 hours. They don’t have to be long either. As long as you feel refreshed afterwards, breaks are good investments of our time. But, do not mistake them for procrastination.
Here are some of our suggestions for great breaks:

2. Keep a Log of Your Daily Activities 

From Time Management Ninja

From Time Management Ninja

Grab a notebook or buy an agenda (now that it’s February, you should be able to score some great deals on daily planners), and keep a log of your daily activities. Short, concise and in point form, the purpose of doing this is for you to reflect on what you’ve done everyday. Ideally, you should have something written down for everyday and if that’s not the case, strive to do something so that you have something to write in your log when you reflect at the end of the day. The idea behind this activity is to get into your head the fact that you should not have any empty days in the log – treat it more as a reflection activity where you can check-in with yourself after each day to see how you’re doing. The more committed you are to this activity, the more benefits you reap from doing this; when you find you’re losing motivation, you can open this log and take a look at all the things you’ve done this year up until this point. Looking back on your achievements and successes this year will encourage you to continue working hard and thus, reporting on what you’re doing in your daily log.

3. Utilize Your Calendar

From Style by Joanne Faith

From Style by Joanne Faith

Whether it’s on that calendar you bought at Chapters on sale or the Calendar App on your phone, make the most of calendars. I use my calendar to plan months in advance and write everything in it from social events to class deadlines to my work schedule. It helps to visually see your schedule so that you are better able to determine how much time you need to spend on what area of your life. Make use of different colours, fonts and highlighters so that your calendar is visually appealing and so you will want to open it multiple times a day. Working on your personal planning helps in the long run when your motivation is running low – if you can just get that term paper finished before you go to your friend’s party on Saturday, you won’t be stressed when it’s due Monday morning. Having a calendar or a planner helps you to maximize your time and focus your energy where it needs to be. Not having a clear indication of how your work, school and social lives work together only leads to more stress in the long run, which is a severe factor to lost motivation.

4. Stay Positive

From quotesnsmiles.com

From quotesnsmiles.com

This sounds really cheesy but it’s true. Focusing your energy on negative thoughts only serves to alter your perspective so that all you see are the negatives. If you’re finding yourself not motivated, chances are you’re weighing everything that has gone wrong against everything that has gone right. The importance in this situation is focus on everything that has gone right and not weigh the value of those things against the things that have gone wrong. Focus on the value of the positives and how those factors have made your day better; try to settle your mind so that you are able to calmly channel your energy into positivity. My favourite way to calm the mind is to focus on the present: try naming 5 things you see in your environment, then naming 4 things you can hear in your environment, and 3 things you’re touching. This small activity helps keep you grounded in the present and forces you to stop and focus on your surrounding environment instead of on negativity.
 

5. Write Down Your Personal and Professional Goals

From Solimar International

From Solimar International

Take a moment to sit down and think about your personal and professional goals. Then plan for them using SMART goal setting:
Specific: Outline the task you are going to achieve
Measurable: Think about the limitations or, how you will know when you’ve achieved your goal
Attainable: List all of the resources you will need to achieve this goal
Realistic: The goal makes sense for you
Timely: Create a timeline for how you will go about achieving this goal and when
Writing down your personal and professional goals allows you to look at your goals in a concrete way; they’re not just ideas or dreams in your mind, but are now tangible and solid. The physicality of seeing your goals written on paper makes them real and serves as a reminder for the amount of work and effort you are putting in to achieve them. So, when you’re feeling unmotivated to do something, having your goals written in front of you can serve as an empowering reminder for what you’re working towards.