Five Tips for Staying Motivated and Productive

Posted by Deea Deb on October 20, 2020

Academic Success

Hey Lions! Reading Week is over and school is back in full throttle. After a relaxed break, it can be difficult to get back into the groove of studying, online lectures, readings, assignments, co-curricular activities and everything else. We’re here to help! In this #YUBlog post, we’ll share five tips to help you get back into the groove, be productive and reach our academic goals.  Here’s what we recommend:

The Daily Highlight

The New Student Guide to Remote Learning

Although some of you wake up with the drive to demolish your to-do list like the Incredible Hulk, others might be stressed about the amount of work that they must do.

If you have a seemingly never-ending to-do list, decide on one task that you absolutely have to finish that day — this is your daily highlight. You commit to ending the day having completed this task. Your daily highlight could be anything from writing that essay that you should have started two weeks ago, a work project or something you really need to get done around the house. Whatever it is, focus your energy on that one task. Once you do it, you will feel more confident about the other tasks on your to-do list.

Success tip: If you need help with managing your time, check out the new Student Guide to Remote Learning by Learning Skills Services. They have a section devoted to time management. You can also check out their workshop calendar and find an upcoming “Time Management” webinar, as well as their full list of other important workshops.

Set Small Daily Goals

Understanding OSAP: The Application Process

Speaking of enormous to-do lists, it is not required to have 20 things to do everyday to prove your productivity. It is better to do what is important and will help you reach your goals than add tasks that just keep you busy but aren’t particularly productive. Maybe this isn’t the best time to reorganize your closet!

Success tip: Break down big assignments, readings and research papers into manageable sections that you can handle easily. This helps prevent you from being overwhelmed at bigger tasks and lets you celebrate little wins daily.

Divide Time and Space for Work and Relaxation

Not only does scheduling work time and relaxation time help you manage a healthy work-life balance at home, creating a separate space for both helps your mind relax when your work is done. Don’t work on your bed and don’t try to relax at your workstation. Separate spaces don’t need to be different rooms. They can even be different corners of the same room or desk, as long as you are not working and trying to relax in the same corner.

Success tip: A great way to motivate yourself is to keep a clean and clutter-free work area. Clearing out my desk the previous night always excites me to get started with work the next morning!

Try the Pomodoro Technique – Social Distance Style!

For those of you who love to procrastinate, the Pomodoro Technique can be helpful. This technique prioritizes working for 25-minute bursts with five-minute breaks in between. You’ll be motivated to stay focused while the timer is running, and you’ll get a chance to chill on your breaks.

Success tip: Try a Pomodoro study session with your friends via Zoom! Get a group of friends together on Zoom and put somebody in charge of the Pomodoro timer. When the 25- minute study session begins, work “together” silently on Zoom. When the study session ends and your five-minute break begins, take the time to catch up with friends until the next study session starts.

Prioritize Your Mental Health

Top 5 Mindfulness Apps #YUBlog

It’s hard to be motivated or productive when you are stressed. It is very important that you take care of yourself, schedule some me-time, meditate, virtually catch up with friends and family and go for walks (make sure that you wear a mask and practise social distancing while out). Take time to eat balanced meals and try not to work through lunch – step away from your laptop and take a lunch break. Don’t stay up until two in the morning. Maintain a normal sleep schedule and aim to get at least eight hours of sleep a night.

Success tip: If you’re struggling and need to talk to someone, there are mental health and wellness resources available to York students at no cost. The #YUBlog also recommends these Top Five Mindfulness Apps to Declutter Your Mind!

Let us know in the comments below if you implement any of these ideas. We would also love to know how you are motivating yourself!

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails.

Deea Deb
Deea Deb

Deea Deb is a third-year English and Professional Writing major at York University. She loves reading, travelling, being organized, and writing. She hopes to help York students succeed at university.

See other posts by Deea Deb

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    Thanks for sharing this, Deea!