Written by: Laurel Green
- Find a location that works for you
This does require you to know what type of environment you work efficiently in, but don’t be discouraged if you’re not sure yet—it takes experimenting to find it. Some days you might find the coffee shop down the street was just the vibe you needed to finish that paper, but today you just need some peace and quiet and that could mean the library. The only “wrong” place is the one where you can’t focus, get distracted, or are not comfortable. Try having a few spots to choose from and utilize them to their advantages. Take this as an opportunity to explore your campus and its surroundings. It takes trial and error, but your productivity will thank you.
- Power down for periods of time
It is so easy to get consumed in social media and fun games on a smart phone, but tucking it away will allow you to focus on the task at hand. Sometimes we do need a break, and that’s okay! But sometimes we have to gather up that self control and write that introduction paragraph, solve that equation, or read that first page of the book. It’s hard to see how easily we get consumed with technology, especially when it’s a fun distraction, so start small and give yourself mini goals. For example: “I will not check Twitter until I have…” or put your phone down for 10 minutes and see how far you get.
- Exercise something other than your brain
It is so easy to get stressed and caught up in all the work we still have to do, so it’s important to take time out of your day to work something other than your brain. Find a form of exercise you ENJOY! This is the most important part. You should look forward to your workout as a little escape, a time to clear your head, and enjoy yourself. If you hate running, then don’t pick this as your escape. Workout classes are great because it’s a room full of supportive people with the same goals and you can easily feed off their energy to build your own. Dance it out, squat it out, or downward dog it out. Any way you do it, enjoy it and let your brain rest. You’ll be able to return to your work later, refreshed and re-energized with a clear head ready to finish your work.
- Make a list
This is as simple as it sounds—physically write down the things you need to get done. Once you have completed one, cross it out. It will build your motivation and you will feel great satisfaction when you put a line through each task. Bonus: it will also help with time management as you plan which tasks are priority and which ones will take the most time.
- Treat yourself
After struggling through rough assignments, give yourself a small reward. Go on your phone for a few minutes, watch that new Carpool Karaoke video, or just relax with some coffee or tea. It is a small, but easy, way to keep yourself motivated for the next time you need to focus.