Having the freedom to do whatever you want to and whenever you want to is liberating. But just as anyone else, we have responsibilities to take care of in our daily lives. Students especially have tons of things that need constant attention and it’s not so easy to juggle everything at once like school work, exams, work, social life, finances, and family.
But we understand priorities and it leads us to put homework and exams at the top of the list, as much as we don’t feel like doing it. So how do we decide whether to binge-watch Game of Thrones or open your textbook and study for your mid-term?
Make a to-do list
Laying out what needs to be done can help you visualize tasks so you don’t get lost among the sea of everything else. Most productivity applications utilize lists to improve organization and productivity in your life. Chaos tends to lead us away from doing things as it’s too much to handle but lists can make our lives easier. Studying requires organization and knowing what to study and when due dates are can increase your motivation to complete more urgent tasks. Once the important tasks are taken care of, the workload continues to get lighter and easier to complete. Crossing off tasks on a list also feels very rewarding.
Speaking of rewards, they are a great way to incentivize studying. Of course, the goal is to achieve great marks and learn, but those rewards are boring for most students. Setting small goals and small rewards can motivate you to finish studying for your exam so you can watch 1 hour of Game of Thrones, or finish your essay before the weekend so you’ll be able to hit the bars with your friends. Parents usually start rewarding their children at a young age so they develop study habits and understand rewarded behaviors.
Studies show that rewarded behavior is a result of released chemical Dopamine. A naturally occurring chemical in the body, dopamine can solve the questions of how to increase motivation. Dopamine is usually triggered before the reward, during high-stress situations, so that in these situations we make the right choice.
But opposite of this, low levels of dopamine create an adverse effect; it actually makes us lazier and less motivated to do anything. Things that contribute to lower dopamine levels are lack of sunlight, bad eating habits and diets, lack of exercise, and even being too relaxed. The human body regulates dopamine and other chemicals but there are several ways that we can increase these chemicals to improve our motivation and productivity.
Ways to Increase Dopamine
Students are students and will likely take convenience over quality, which leads them to eat processed foods full of junk that actually affect the release of dopamine in your body. Things with saturated fats, empty calories, and non-nutritional foods cause us to be lazier than normal. Ordering that large pizza from Domino’s while studying may not be the move for motivation! Instead, research suggests eating things high in protein like eggs, meat, beans, and nuts. Protein produces chemicals that then produce dopamine. So instead of eating junk food, have some peanuts or other “brain” food to motivate you!
Exercise more often
Studies show that endorphins are increased when you exercise regularly which leads to better moods. Animals that are active are shown to have more dopamine than animals that aren’t. Parkinson’s disease, a disease that has significantly lower dopamine levels, improves with more aerobic exercises, leading researchers to believe that in fact, more exercises increases dopamine levels.
Sleep is good!
Our body naturally regulates chemicals including dopamine. During the mornings, typically our bodies produce dopamine which promotes awareness and awareness, while in the evening, dopamine levels are reduced to help you sleep. Of course, having a sleep schedule that interrupts our bodies’ natural rhythm will also affect our health. Sleep hygiene is important for motivation, as getting up during the day and going to bed at a reasonable time gives us more motivation to do something rather than be lazy.
Sometimes our working busybodies are glued to our computers to work on our thesis or to review powerpoint slides before an exam all day long. Everything you need is inside your apartment, food, a bathroom, and the internet, so you don’t really need to leave. But in fact, avoiding leaving your home can cause negative effects on your productivity. Research shows that during seasons of low sunshine have led to lower levels of dopamine, and it rises back to normality during sunny seasons. Taking a break from studies to have a walk in the sunlight might be more beneficial to you than wrapping yourself inside a blanket all day.
“But, I’m just really tired and don’t want to do anything…” 🙁
Motivation is half the battle when it comes to studying, but its a very important half. We get it, going to class all day, working all night, and then coming home only to do homework and study is exhausting. So how can students find motivation when tired?
Tiredness comes from many different factors, and as students work very hard they are becoming burnt out, worked until they can’t work anymore. There are study habits that students should do to avoid major burnout and demotivation that also provide better efficiency when studying.
Create a routine
Cramming for a test won’t yield the best results and will actually cause more damage than help. What good students do is create a routine so that the workload is managed evenly and all the work is done. Routines provide organization and stability as well as reduce stress. Knowing to study for 1 hour a day for seven days is better than studying 7 hours the night before an exam. Plus, you can sleep more during the week and especially right before your exam.
Set Goals for yourself
Why are you working so hard and stressing out about your studies? Things simple as “to make my family proud” or “to earn a degree so I can get a good job” are reasons to motivate you to do well. Without a reason or direction, being tired can often eliminate all drive to study and do well in school.
People who work very hard and for long amounts of time tend to forget that they need to eat or sleep or things like that. Taking short breaks when you start to get tired can combat demotivation and can increase productivity. Remember it is never a bad idea to walk away from a stressful situation just for a bit
If you’re still feeling like you don’t know what to do, Assignment Expert can lighten your load of work so you can focus on more things like your mental health and long-term goals. In fact, assignment expert can help motivate you to do your homework as well. So if you’re lost and you’re reading this, you’re not the only one! Using your resources will help you accomplish more than you can imagine!