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How I Motivate Myself

I’ve been asked this quite a few times throughout the duration of my degree. Not because i’m an overly keen or enthusiastic person, but because I don’t have many contact hours in Uni. At the moment, I am only in for 3 hours a week, only on a Thursday, so in theory I could spend the rest of the week in bed. As my dad frequently says “she’s got 6 saturdays and a sunday!” *rolls eyes* I talked about lacking motivation to blog in my last post, but I think it’s inspiration I was lacking rather than motivation. I have set times in the week where I sit down to write and I am always eager, but sometimes I just struggle to find a topic. This week, I am also talking about motivation in my life in general, with an outfit post mixed in between because I find it hard to write a lot about outfits.

I don’t drag myself out of bed at 7am every morning, although my alarm does go off at around this time. There is no point even trying to shower between 7-8 in my house because my housemates usually have 9am’s and the bathroom is always occupied. I tend to get up between 7-8, but if i’m tired I will sleep until 9, then tidy my room. I can’t do anything in my room until it is completely tidy and the bed is made. I think this definitely has a positive effect on my mindset for the day. I have a lot of reading to do for my modules and my dissertation, so my desk isn’t big enough. I spread out all of my books, papers and notebooks on my bed, line my pillows against the wall like a sofa bed, and get to work. I think it is important to know when you work best. For me, I know that I don’t work well after 9pm. I struggle to read critical essays or books as soon as it gets dark, so I try and do all of my reading in the morning. Luckily, I found that I am really keen and passionate about blogging late in the evening, and that I can bring my laptop down into the lounge and write loads while my friends are working and watching a film. As I have to really concentrate on what I am reading to see if it is relevant to my dissertation, to understand it and see if I can draw anything out for my own research, I can’t do uni work downstairs in front of the TV and that’s fine. You don’t have to make yourself work every hour of the day just because your friends might be typing or writing.

One thing I always make sure I do, is get dressed. I tend to do about an hour of work, then shower and get ready etc, because then I can take my time with it as i’m not rushing to start work. I don’t know how some people spend all day in their pyjamas, if I don’t get dressed, I don’t feel like i’m doing proper work or that i’ve done a full day. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t put on jeans and a nice top every day, I tend to live in gym leggings and a jumper or hoodie with minimal makeup. But I know that if I didn’t at least do this, i’d feel all gross and slobby, like I was having a sick day. If i’m not leaving the house to go to work or Uni, I need to do everything I can to make sure I feel productive. That’s the main thing that gets me motivated.

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I recently got a job lined up for when I graduate. A couple of my friends have made comments like “if it were me, i’d just go on holiday from now on” or “you don’t have to care about exams anymore now!”, and while they are kind of right, I can’t allow myself to fall into thinking this way. If anything, I am more motivated because I don’t have that to worry about as well. A few of my friends are worrying and applying to any jobs or grad schemes they can, but it’s the last term before we graduate, and the very last push we can do to make sure we get good grades so I focus on that rather than what will happen after. I don’t even have a place to live after I graduate but am I stressing about that? No. (Yes, but i’m not doing anything about it yet).

As an English student, I think it is mandatory that I have a stationery addiction, and that motivates me. I have a special notebook for my Dissertation, with loads of tabs and coloured pen in it, and I want it to be all full and detailed, therefore I do more reading to fill it out with notes I also have a little leathery notebook that I use for blogging, and again I want it to be well-loved and full of ideas, so I set aside time to write in that as well. I think it is important to have little weekly goals, mine are usually blog or word count related, and I find that really positive and motivating. I find that most people I know have big projects or dissertations due that take the whole semester and won’t be finished for another few months, so accomplishing little weekly tasks is a must to keep yourself motivated and working towards the end goal of finishing your modules. There is something so deeply satisfying for the soul about crossing stuff off a to-do list or a calendar, so i’d recommend a nice trip to WHSmith or poundland for some new stationery if you are struggling to keep on top of everything.

Music! I never listened to music when revising for my GCSE’s and A-levels. I like to have some background noise rather than silence which is why I usually worked at the dining table when I lived at home, but I found myself being constantly distracted by my Uni room being so quiet. For my January exams, I made myself a mammoth playlist to resolve this issue. It is on Spotify, aptly called “less singy singy more worky worky”, and it is full of famous classical music, and musical scores from Harry Potter and Disney films that have no singing, so I can’t get distracted and start singing along. It really works. There’s something about listening to classical music that makes you feel all intelligent and relaxed when you are working haha.

Alongside Uni, I am a marketing assistent, I have been told several times that I should just quit this internship now I have a job, but I can’t bring myself to. Yes it is a lot of work, I don’t get paid, and I quite often have to get taxis to work so it is actually costing me quite a bit, but I really enjoy it. I think that’s one thing everyone should have when they feel a bit bogged down by work or exams, something completely separate from it that they can immerse themselves in, that is productive and not just watching Netflix. Whether that be a part time job, reading, organising your room, tidying the house, ringing family, anything that gets your mind working, it is good to recharge and have something else to actually DO. Yes my internship is not related to my degree, but we still have productive meetings and campaign shoots and I don’t worry that I should be writing my dissertation when I am there because I am so immersed in the process of planning and organising. I absolutely love the girls that I work with and I get to meet new people each week, and we all do such different degrees, have either graduated or not even started Uni yet, so it makes a total change from being surrounded by people studying.

I just keep reminding myself that once I start my job, it’ll be full time and i’ll have to be up and out of the house by 8 every morning. No more long weekends at home, spending a whole week at Matt’s, leisurely walks to the Naked Lunch Cafe for a vegan breakfast, or even summers off! So I should enjoy how much I get to work from home and lie in if I want to. While I am in a really challenging time of my life, I am also finding it to be one of the most enjoyable times as I know my degree is coming to an end, and i’ll be really sad when it does. This is what motivates me the most, motivates me to enjoy and appreciate everything I am doing. Every library session where I sit in front of a huge window facing my first year Halls of Residence, every supervisor meeting, cold walk, deadline. This will be the last time I get to actively learn and study what I grew up loving. I don’t plan my days out hour-by-hour as that doesn’t work for me, but having a rough guide to little tasks I should do in a day and what should be done by the end of the week keeps me going. Again, i’m not saying that I am the perfect student by a long shot. I snooze my alarm, always forget to do food shops and spend most days in my slippers but this year I have really learnt to love every aspect of my course so when I finish any prep-work for my lectures, I do some extra reading for me because I enjoy the topic, not because I have to as I love my last taught module.

Ultimately, there’s one mantra I live by that I heard years ago, and I find keeps me on track and motivates me to do additional tasks every day.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”. Because who knows what you might end up doing tomorrow?

  • Jacket – ASOS Petite
  • Jeans – TopShop
  • Shoes – ASOS
  • Top – Blouse
  • Bag – Dune (TK Maxx)

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