For many of us, it’s hard to simply pick up our laptops and start working. A lot of the time, we think it’s because we’re lazy and put off work. However, we don’t always stop to think about why we are at a loss of motivation or don’t know how or where to find solutions for this chronic problem. Over time, I’ve learned a couple new ways of shifting my life into a much more productive mindset, and I hope my methods work for others just like me.
Studying at home isn’t always desirable, especially because students should be separating their home life and their academic life. Studying outside of the house can also often create less stress, as the more you study outside, the less you associate going home with academic stress, leaving you feeling much more at peace. Thus, I recommend working in a peaceful place like a coffee shop or library. Try shifting around a few places before settling so you can see which environment makes you the most efficient. Perhaps places with natural sunlight and earthy tones like brown and forest green work better for you than places with bright artificial lights and modern architecture. If you’re in a noisy place, try investing in some noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. Bring your device that you charged the night before and bring a charger in case there’s an outlet at the place you’re working. You don’t want your computer dying on you when you’re working on a huge paper.
2. Study with friends
This may not work for everyone but try forming study groups. This can be general study groups or specific study groups for certain subjects like English or History. Sometimes, being under the supervision of other people or seeing others study can motivate you into studying. It can also be helpful to talk to others about how you might be struggling and find solidarity and comfort in others. This may also help when you have to go back home and study, as I find it increasingly difficult to study alone.
3. Decorate/fix up your room
When you can’t study outside, your only option left is your room or the living room. Before starting, make sure your space is clean, because it can actually make an impact on how productive you are. Having a cluttered space can cause more stress while a clean space can potentially increase comfort and reduce stress. If your studying place is usually messy by the end of the week, make sure to spend some time during your week on cleaning up. Put on a playlist that makes you want to dance or sing so that you can find more motivation to clean. Nevertheless, don’t beat yourself up if you’re not able to clean up much. Additionally, try to add peaceful decor such as plants and decorations you might see in outside spaces you study at to your room or studying space.
4. Make a morning routine
Your morning routine should be something simple that wakes you up. It’s okay to wake up foggy and fatigued, but try to find a way to wake yourself up, whether it be washing your face with freezing water or playing music that you like dancing to. You can try creating a playlist specifically with songs that radiate the vibes that help you wake up, and expand your music taste if needed. Another thing that might want to make you go outside is getting dressed up in a nice outfit and putting on a bit of makeup (lip gloss, lipstick, etc.).
Here’s an example of my morning routine.
7:00 AM: Wake up + put on a bit of Bad Bunny
7:10 AM: Brush your hair
7:11 AM: Wash your face + put on lotion
7:25 AM: Pick out a fit and dress up
7:35 AM: End with putting on eyeliner and lipstick/lip gloss (makeup)
7:50 - 8:00 AM: Head to Breakfast
If you think you need a fresh start and a new routine, you can start a scheduled morning routine, but I suggest first getting into the habit of the different aspects of your desired schedule then setting distinct timestamps just to make sure you get everything you want done within those time slots. Of course they can be loose timestamps, but make sure to try to adhere to those times as much as possible. Still, don’t punish yourself over a slip up, it’ll happen to everyone once in a while.
5. Routine for the Whole Day
While it’s not my favorite thing to set a routine for the whole day with specific timestamps similar to the ones in my morning routine, this may work for some people. Many people use Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheets, My Study Life, etc. If you prefer very loose schedules and feel a lot of pressure creating certain timestamps for specific assignments, I recommend making a schedule like the lowest one. However, if you’re a very punctual person and very tight about schedules, you might be into the kind of routine in the schedule immediately below (made on Google Spreadsheets). Make your schedule look more appealing by color coding breaks, meal schedules (for example, the green mealtimes on the bottom chart, etc.).
Head to the gym
Head to Lunch
Take a shower
Bio + PH 1
Hand in Bio Work
Naviance + SS
Scholastic + Write
Take a shower
Take a shower
Head to Cafe
Do Latin paper
Hopefully some of these tips end up working for you! It takes a while to get adjusted and find different methods that actually work for you. Be patient with yourself!