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“I’ll Start Tomorrow, I Swear” – 5 Secrets of Self-Motivation

As a college student, I find myself saying these words more often than not. This is because I understand what it feels like to be overwhelmed with too much work or wanting to go out with friends rather than staying home to complete an assignment. At times like these, it is very hard for me to find the right motivation to work.

In such situations, self-motivation is what works best. However, this is easier said than done.  Typically, if one is not passionate about a task, it is hard to motivate oneself to complete it. Due to this we start procrastinating until the deadline looms over us and then slide into a state of panic – and more inertia – as too much work has piled up.

The key issue then is, how do we motivate ourselves to get through those tasks that don’t particularly interest us? Take a look at these 5 tips that will help you get through a tough assignment or tasks that have piled up.

Be True To Yourself

This should always be your first step while motivating yourself to work. Frequently, you find that you may have too much work to do or that the work is too hard for you to even consider finishing it, let alone do a good job. In situations like this, it is easy to think that you are more disciplined that you actually are. You might consider leaving all the difficult tasks to the last minute as you really believe that half a day is all you need to get through them. 

If the task at hand is really boring, you might feel like multi-tasking. You could fool yourself into believing that you can work while watching your favourite TV show. In all these scenarios, you will typically find that you are slowing yourself down greatly.

In order to work effectively, know yourself and your capabilities. Then make parameters to complete your tasks. For example, divide your tasks over the weekend, so that you have enough time to relax and you have finished all your work before the start of the work day. Remember to; always give 100 percent of your effort to your work.  Do not fool yourself that you’re working when you actually aren’t. 

Save The Best For Last

What this means is: tackle your worst jobs first. There are several benefits to jumping into the mess, feet first. It may go against the grain initially. You will probably hate doing the work and feel annoyed or bored. However, once the task is complete, the day will be blissful. That nagging feeling inside your head will cease as you can spend the rest of your day between easier activities and leisure time. 

Create Realistic Goals

Everyone knows there is nothing more frustrating than failure, especially after putting in much time and effort. Many students face this problem during exams, putting in endless hours of work until they reach a point of complete exhaustion, and then having to cope with the crushing disappointment of an average grade.  How do you avoid this situation? By studying ‘smartly’. In order to study ‘smartly’, you must be aware of your own capabilities. Set goals at the end of each day for your work, but also allocate time off to relax and take a walk or meet friends. Do not be disheartened if you are unable to meet every goal on your list. Always leave a little margin for error. Most importantly, do not bite off more than you can chew. 

Break It Down

This is a simple way to motivate yourself to take on a task that might seem too large and daunting. Overwhelming situations are bound to induce procrastination. To tackle this, you must remove that feeling of impossibility from the equation.

For example, if you are preparing for an examination, break down the syllabus into doable sections by making a time-table. Keep in mind this simple saying: One page at a time”. 

Similarly the only way you can get through a pile of work or tasks that are boring but necessary is through doing a little bit at a time, continuously. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that a large chunk of your work is over. The resultant feeling of relief and success will motivate you to finish the rest as well. 

Choose Healthy Rewards

It’s true that rewards are a big motivation for anyone to complete their work, so harness their power in the battle against procrastination. In fact, self-discipline grows at an astonishing pace when we extend rewards to our particular indulgences. However, such rewards should always be in proportion to the task completed. For example, after a day’s hard work cleaning out the garage, you cannot reward yourself with a day of movies. That defeats the purpose of all the hard work, as television is a huge distraction. Rather, reward yourself with a walk in the park or a jog. Sports are known to stimulate your brain. 

Finally- never doubt yourself! Be confident and believe you have what it takes to complete your work and do a great job as well.