Here are six of the most important and effective strategies to get you through the last stretch of school. Even though every bone in your body is telling you that you have reached your little, you have to squeeze out just a little bit more. It feels like the last 100 metres of a 5K run, and it feels like you might just throw up.
Here are our six tips to keep you motivated.
#1 Start counting down the days.
With a seemingly unmanageable amount of work to do, print off a 30-day calendar, mark your last deadline, exam or paper and start crossing off the days that are already behind you. If you are tired and exhausted, this will remind you that there are just a few more days—which you can get through and make it.
If you are a procrastinator who has been putting things off, this will remind you on a daily basis that you can afford to get something done every day.
#2 Storyboard the remaining weeks.
Print off as many schedules as you need, tape staple or glue them to the wall and build your master plan. Write down the deadline first, and then work backwards. Block off two hours in the morning, afternoon and then two after dinner. And then, write down what you need to do in each block.
Research shows that backward scheduling will increase your productivity and reduce your stress. Just make sure you carve big things like a paper or exam into smaller chunks (e.g. study one chapter, write o e small section of the paper, and make flashcards for chapter two). Spreading it out is one of the most effective strategies.
#3. Take micro-breaks.
Taking a five-minute micro-break can restore your focus and boost your energy and motivation. Just make sure that your break involves getting up and moving (e.g., go for a five-minute fast walk, or dance, skip rope or do some stretching in a different room). Don’t even think about watching 20 minutes of something on Netflix.
#4. Give yourself a carrot to keep going. Now you can watch a bit of Netflix or hang out at the end of the day. But just a bit. When you get through all of it you can binge. And you will deserve it. Think about what your BIG carrot is going to be, when you get through it. Going home, got a big party with friends, trip to Cuba?
#5. Get eight hours of sleep every night.
Yes, that’s right. Research has shown that less than 7.5 to 8 hours of sleeps is associated with academic and concentration difficulties, in addition, to increase health and mental health difficulties.
Keep in mind that if you were a high-level athlete, your coach would have you in bed early and ready for game one of the playoffs. School is the same. Research has shown that the best thing you can do before an exam is to get 8 hours of sleep –which has been shown as even more effective than cramming the night before.
#6. Surround yourself with people who can motivate you.
Research has shown that who you spend time with will affect your grades. If your friends are keeping you from getting your work done or undermining your level of motivation, you will need to limit your exposure.
Not sure if you are running out of gas?
If you are not sure whether or not you are running out of gas, take our Academic Disengagement Survey. There are three different types of academic disengagement. Find out what type of disengagement you have and what to do about it.
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