If you’re starting university or college this month and are worried about staying focused on your studies, don’t panic! Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you stay on track and motivated as you progress through the year (and a pandemic):
Structure Your Week
Each week write a list of what you need to achieve and when you need to achieve it by. If you don’t take the time to structure your week, you will inevitably find yourself failing to meet assignments. It’s also a good idea to size up those priorities and tackle the more difficult tasks first – procrastination will only cause more stress in the long run!
Set Achievable Goals
Setting yourself realistic and achievable goals will help to keep you motivated. Set too many targets that are overly ambitious, and you’ll get used to the idea that you won’t reach them and gradually stop trying – totally unproductive. Instead, focus on SMART goals, which are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
If you’re someone who tends to set goals but struggles to stick to them, set up your own incentive and rewards for meeting deadlines. For instance, once you spend an hour studying, you can go to lunch. If rewards aren’t a powerful enough incentive, try penalties instead. Suddenly studying becomes a lot more interesting!
Take A Break
Go for a walk, do some exercise, have a cup of tea, chat with your mates – whatever it takes to help you switch off for a bit. You might think that working solidly for five hours is a great achievement but remember it’s almost impossible to work to the best of your ability for that long. You need to give yourself time to relax throughout the day as it can be easy to forget when you’re knee-deep in uni work that you really do have limits (you’re only human). Taking regular breaks will help you stay happy, healthy and avoid burning out.
It doesn’t matter how many hours sleep you get if the waking hours are packed to the brim, it’s inevitable to feel exhausted. Whether you’ve been out the night before partying, or cramming for an exam, take some energy-boosting food such as fruit, vegetables, oily fish or nuts to provide the perfect solution for those difficult mornings or mid-afternoon slumps.