We are hitting the middle of the semester and with that comes a big fight to stay motivated. You are not the only one going through this! It is really difficult to keep up with tests, homework, social life, and possibly even a job at this point in the semester because you are just overwhelmed and getting worn down. Studies have shown that basically everyone goes through this motivation dip not only in school, but in other areas of life as well.
What happens is that you are very excited and really want to do well in the beginning of the semester. This is when you are on top of all of your homework; you are getting it done a couple of days ahead of time and generally doing very well on it. You are ready to have a fresh start. However, in the middle of the semester you hit the bottom, and all motivation seems to go away. You are mentally and physically exhausted, and just don’t feel like doing anything. This is the time of the semester that you are staying up until 1 a.m. (possibly later) in order to get that assignment done that is due in your 9 a.m. class because you put it off even though you knew all week that it was due. The good news is that generally speaking you do come out of the slump and get back on track before the end of the semester. At this point, you realize that you need to kick it into gear in order to improve grades or to get everything you need to get done before the end of semester finished so you then become very motivated once again.
This doesn’t only happen while you are in school, but also in activities such as exercising, trying to master a new skill, and even work. The question is, how do you get out of this slump before it is too late? Or how do you work to either avoid the slump or at least recover from it faster?
- Recognize that you are going into that slump: Ignoring the fact that you have no motivation or just stating it over and over again will not help you to regain your motivation. If you fully recognize that you are unmotivated and admit that there is a problem that needs to be fixed then you can work on the next steps to getting motivated and accomplishing tasks.
- Set goals: It is very important to set goals. They don’t have to be these big, long term, multi-step, very complicated goals. They just need to be something as simple as finishing an assignment or studying a specific amount of time for that upcoming test. You need to make sure that these goals are specific and that you set up objectives in order to reach them.
- Don’t overload yourself: This is probably one of the most crucial steps in getting out of the dip. If you look at the huge list of assignments and upcoming tests that you may have then you will feel very overwhelmed. You will not know where to start and then you have three options: not start anything and put it off more because you don’t think there is any way that you will get it done on time, just dive in and start on something at random, or you can break the assignments up into smaller, more manageable portions. When you break them up it makes the tasks seem much easier and it gives you a place to begin. Overloading yourself with trying to do all of it at once will just cause you to get more stressed out and make you more likely to quit.
- Give yourself rewards: Once you accomplish the goals that you set, give yourself a break. Make sure that you reward yourself for all of the hard work that you did. This will make you feel good about yourself and put you in the mindset to accomplish even more.
- Find something you love to do: As Steve Jobs said, “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” If you love what you are doing, then you won’t be dragging your feet every day to get it done because it is something you enjoy!