Five Simple Steps to Find Motivation


By Christine Viray, Staff Writer

As you continue to get more notifications from Blackboard and less from your favorite social media outlets, you probably wish that winter break was longer.  You might even feel demotivated after looking through the syllabus of one of your courses.  But no matter what kind of student you are, there are a lot of simple ways to find motivation to help you through the new year and semester.

While motivation might seem like a short-term desire, you can make it continuous by reading about these five effective ways to help you raise or maintain your current GPA. Even if you plan to graduate soon, you can still apply these methods to your lifestyle because they are not exclusive to college coursework and are meant to help you become more productive.

  1. Make a calendar

This step might seem too easy or unnecessary, especially since people hand out free Mason-themed planners around campus. But instead of focusing on just the planner, you should also make a list that shows how many weeks are in the semester.  By doing this, you will get a visual of how the long the semester is, which will make it seem less intimidating.

When the week is finally over, you can cross it off and see how many weeks are left until the semester is over.  The best part about this simple step is that you would be one step closer to the next break—or even summer.

  1. Think long-term

While you should always focus on an assignment, you should not think about how tedious it is.  Instead of procrastinating or giving yourself unnecessary stress, you should consider how much free time you could have in the future if you finish the assignment right away.  Not only will this tip help you get the motivation you need to complete the assignment, but it will also help you overcome procrastination.

  1. Reward yourself

There will always be those days when you find yourself having to finish a large amount of work in a short amount of time.  If that’s not stressful enough, the workload could be from more than one class.  Splitting up the workload and rewarding yourself after each assignment that you finish is one way that you can get through situations like these.

  1. Read a self-help book

There’s nothing to be embarrassed about if someone catches you reading a self-help book, even if it may have a title like one of Dale Carnegie’s books, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  In most cases, books that fall under the self-help category are motivational and life changing, and they will only help you if you choose to help yourself by applying the principles that are discussed in the book.

It’s also important to note that you do not necessarily have to read the whole book in a single setting—you can read at least a chapter or thirty minutes a day.  You can also think about how reading can help improve your writing skills, which is useful in both classroom and work environments.    

  1. Challenge your friends or classmates

When I say “challenge”, I’m not talking about rushing to finish off an assignment.  What you want to do is work effectively in the available amount of time and challenge your friends or classmates to do the same. When you make your goals public to people, this will motivate you to keep your word because you will not want to “lose” the challenge of meeting the goal you set.  If your friends or classmates decide to “compete”, then this will also help them become motivated in doing their work.