The sun is shining, the skies are blue, and you’re stuck inside trying to study. It’s no surprise that motivation is rare at this time of year! Not only is it so close to the end of the academic year, meaning SUMMER, the weather is finally starting to get better and the last thing you want to be doing is studying inside. Having said that, the weather at the moment is far from inspiring either, but let’s assume that the sun will come out soon!
Well, as a final year University student who has been stuck indoors studying during the Spring months more times that I’d care to remember, I can give you some tips to stay on track with your work AND enjoy the sun at the same time!
How to find Motivation to Study in the Spring
Plan your day
Let’s start with the most important one… plan your day. If you get up in the morning and try to study without any plans of what you’re doing, you’re setting yourself up to fail. When I’m studying, I like to make a rough plan, including breaks for lunch and snacks (yes, I am 5 years old). To make this plan, I write down a list of everything I want to achieve, in order of what is most important, and then assign those tasks to study sessions, estimating how long it will take me to do each one. This doesn’t have to be exact, but it can help you get an idea of how much you realistically will get done in one day. The more you do this, the more accurate you will be, as you will start to work out how long it will take you to do something!
I find making this plan really helpful as it gives me a structure, a focus and a goal. It helps to keep you on track and also makes sure you’re getting work done that needs to be done, so you don’t put anything off. I’ve been using this method since my GCSEs and I always works for me… that is, when I actually use it!!
Here is an example of my study day*:
*This is on a day where I am well and am able to do a full day of work, it is important to make sure you rest when you need to and you don’t overdo it!!
Take regular breaks
As you can see in my study plan above, I scheduled two one-hour long breaks. The first one I use as a lunch break (make sure you eat and stay hydrated as that can really affect your work!) and the other I use to have a snack if I’m hungry, or just take a break from doing work. Either of these breaks is the perfect opportunity to get outside. You can go for a walk, sit and read a book in the sun, whatever you want!
As well as the two long breaks, I also take regular 5-15 minute breaks every hour. I don’t plan those into the hour, because sometimes I’m able to just work through them, but often, I take a short break towards the end of the hour and then start again on the next hour. For example, I will work from 9:00 – 9:45, take a 15 minute break and start again at 10:00. If you struggle with brain fog, like me, then this will really help you stay focused and hopefully keep a clear(er) mind.
Ok, Spring means Easter, and Easter means chocolate… am I right, or am I right? Well instead of just stuffing your face with chocolate on Easter Sunday, save it, and use it as a reward for yourself. This is again something I’ve done for years now, as I’m such a chocoholic, and is a really good method if you are a first class procrastinator like me. If you’re really struggling to write that 500 words, tell yourself that you can have some of your Easter egg once you’ve written it. I promise you, it works.
Remind yourself why you’re doing it
It is so important to remind yourself why you’re studying. What do you want to achieve from this? One big motivator for me is that I want good grades and the last thing I want to do is have to redo all my assignments / exams again in the summer when everyone else is relaxing. That alone will push me to do my work so I don’t have to go through that, and it means when I finish I can celebrate! But maybe your reasons are different, have a think about why you’re studying and remind yourself of that reason anytime you start to lose that motivation. It might be helpful to write your reasons down, somewhere visible, as a constant reminder!
Just do it
Sometimes you don’t have any motivation, and nothing you do can change that. That’s where the discipline comes in. You just have to get up, write your daily plan, and just do it. I heard somewhere that if you give yourself 5 minutes to do something, by the end of that 5 minutes you quite often get into whatever it is you’re doing and don’t want to stop, so you carry on. And if you aren’t into it, then just do something else! I haven’t tried this myself yet so the jury is still out but there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a go. If you do, be sure to let me know how you got on with it in the comments below!
One more note…
If it’s nice outside, enjoy it! There is NOTHING worse than waiting for a single nice day, to then spend it stuck indoors studying and miss it completely. We live in England, nice days don’t come around that often! Alternatively, you could just work in the morning or afternoon, and take the other half the day to enjoy the sun! Whatever you do, don’t feel guilty for enjoying the sun while it’s there, it’s important to take time off.
So that’s it! Whether you’re busy doing your GCSEs, A Levels, or at University, I really hope these tips help you stay motivated and be productive during the Spring and, even more, I hope they’ll help me!
Have you got any tips to stay motivated in the spring? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,