Five ways to get motivated at the start of the semester

By Megan Fee
February 6, 2021


The start of a new school semester can be a stressful time for many. The first few weeks can be difficult as everyone has to re-adjust and create a new routine to match their new schedule and get into a new groove. Online learning is especially challenging but there are ways to manage. Here are five ways to get motivated and back into a routine for the semester.

Making a daily to-do list can help with organization and help you create a daily routine. Image by Zweed_N_roll from Pixabay.

Make a list

Making a to-do list or agenda is a great and easy way to get organized and ease into a new routine. Having a daily agenda can help with staying on track with work as well as inspire you to celebrate your accomplishments so far.

While no day is the same, this will help give you a better routine and help manage tasks that need to get done throughout the day.

Emily Capaldi, a junior marketing major, believes that making a to-do list helps her get her work done when she feels unmotivated. 

“I find that when I write an agenda of what work that needs to be done for the day I am more likely to get it done,” Capaldi said.

According to PsychologyToday, writing down your tasks and goals holds you more accountable and can help serve as a reminder for everything that you have completed already, which can help increase motivation.

Take breaks throughout the day

Taking breaks is essential for mental health. Image by silviarita from Pixabay.

Taking breaks may not come to mind when thinking about getting motivated for the semester but they are essential to add into your routine. It is important to find a good work-life balance and pace yourself in order to prevent burn out. Taking little breaks throughout the day can help productivity and give you a chance to relax and do things you enjoy which can be good for your physical and mental health.

According to an interview done by BusinessNewsDaily, Chris Chancey, a career expert and the CEO of Amplio Recruiting, explains that a good work-life balance will have positive effects such as “less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being.”

Capaldi explained that she listens to music when working and allows herself to take breaks when needed so she does not burn herself out.

Meanwhile Michelle Piccone, a junior psychology major, explained that she finds it helpful to make time to hang out with friends and be social during breaks so she can return to her work with a clear mind.

Some other ways to help with this online school setting is by setting work hours for yourself in order to separate yourself from school while you are at home.

Everyone will have a different balance but the most important thing is to find what works just right for you.

Break tasks down into smaller steps

It is easy to get overwhelmed and that stress can quickly drain your energy and lead to procrastination. This is why it is important to take things one step at a time and break down big tasks down step by step. 

Piccone explained that she manages her time by setting goals for herself throughout the day and finds it helpful to divide up the workload of bigger assignments over the course of a few days rather than just rushing to get it done at once.

“I try to do my homework for particular classes on the day of the class and if I do not get it all done then I’ll finish it on my days off,” Piccone said.

Get into a routine sleep schedule

Waking up and going to bed are a big part of a daily routine but it can be difficult to have a consistent morning and sleep schedule due to several factors. However, this does not mean that it is impossible.

SleepFoundation explains that you can create a better sleep routine by setting aside some extra time to unwind and relax to get ready for bed and that by creating a fixed wake-up time, your body will get better adjusted to a routine and be more energized.

Capaldi explained she finds her work more manageable when she had better sleep and was able to get up around the same time every day.

“I wake up early almost everyday because I feel like I am able to accomplish more if I start early,” Capaldi said.

The site also explains that everyone should adjust their sleep schedule over time if changes need to be made in order for their body to adjust gradually.

Celebrating your accomplishments can help with motivation. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

Treat Yourself

An important part of motivation involves celebrating your accomplishments and little victories. Treating yourself can be as simple as taking a break, going for a walk, reading a book or hanging out with friends, among other things.

PsychologyToday explains that giving yourself little rewards every now and then for any progress that you have made will help boost your motivation and help you keep a positive attitude.

Megan Fee

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