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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

How To Motivate Yourself To Do University Work, Assignments and Work Deadlines

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Dress online here / jacket online here / photos taken by Michela Tornaritis  / blow dry by SHOW beauty - Ad affiliate links 

One of the things I'm asked about the most is motivation. I think 'motivation' can be a universal struggle, whether it's finding the motivation to work out, the motivation to finish your essay or motivation to hit a new goal in life, we've all been there, struggling to feel the motivation.  Often, you want to be motivated but you just can't get yourself there. It's one thing feeling motivated, but actually having that get up and go to do it, is another story. I've written lots of blog posts related to this, including how to be your most productivetop tips to inspire and motivate you, as well as my top tips for freelancers. I talk about gym motivation a lot, one of my most read blog posts is the ways I motivate myself to workout. However, today I wanted to give you some of my tips when it comes to smashing through your work, your assignments, your essay, deadlines or maybe that final year dissertation because I know University/exams can be tough. So whether you're a student, a freelancer or you've just got lots of deadlines to get through, I hope these tips will help motivate you to work. You might be sat here asking, how do I motivate myself to get through my uni work? Well, I am here to help you with that push! 

Read: University Regrets, How To Get The Most Out Of University
- An Honest Look At my University Experience 
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Ted Baker boots online here / 

1. Make a priority list - First things first, make a priority list before starting any work, this will massively help you out. Try and figure out what needs the most amount of time spent on it? What is going to take up the most of your time? Look at your deadlines. I find we tend to work on little tasks rather than large ones. A priority list is a great way to keep you focused and start making plans too. 

2. Look how far you've come - I wanted to quit numerous times throughout my degree, particularly during my final year (I did 4 years). My 4th year was tough, I was juggling a full-time business, international clients, a boyfriend, a social life, going through a tough time at home and trying to do a degree at the same time. I told myself it's SO important to finish, not for anyone else but for myself. Whilst University isn't for everyone and you definitely do not need a degree, a degree does not make you better than anyone else, I had already started mine and come so far (not to mention, spent SO much money) so I felt as if I owed it to myself to just power through and finish it. This motivated me in itself. I think when you're ready to quit, it's worth remembering why you started in the first place, this applies to everything, not just studying. Sometimes you just need to breathe and start fresh in the morning, rainy days make flowers. 

3. Look at your diary - I personally use the calendar on my laptop, it works so well as I can see a monthly view, I also have a paper diary (hello old school ha) which is great for this too. It's all about what works best for you but I personally like to see my whole month so I can plan and clearly see what's coming up. In Summer, I knew I'd be handed my dissertation topic in September, I was incredibly worried so instead, I started doing the prep work before I even got to the first lecture for that topic. Looking at my diary throughout uni really helped me with my dissertation, it meant I could figure out how many words I had to get through to hit certain deadlines. Looking at your diary also means you can add in rest periods, for me, this meant nights out with my friends to let my hair down. This is SO important if you want to be productive and feel motivated, earn it by working hard so you can afford to put your hair down! 

4. Get started - The hardest bit is getting started and this is relevant to most things in life. Just like the hardest part of working out is actually getting to the gym, it's the same with getting through deadlines or revision. I just walked straight into my dissertation, I found it way easier this way. I just faced straight into it rather than letting it mount up. So my advice to you? Make a start, as soon as you can, whether it's doing some research, some reading or even making some notes. I promise, it'll help you and that in itself will motivate you. For me, I knew there was an end at some point and I kept thinking about how good it would feel to have that weight lifted, so I kept pushing for it. I went through a really tough time in my first year and physically couldn't revise for a politics exam, I wasn't in the right headspace mentally and instead sat in bed, crying for days, every day getting closer to my exam. I actually spoke to uni about what I was going through and I instantly felt better, a problem shared is a problem halved and you don't have to struggle in silence if you are going through something serious that's hindering you working to your full potential. 

5. Break things up - When it comes to doing a big piece of work, I find breaking things up helps massively. With my dissertation, for example, I broke it up into sections and made myself write a certain number of words per week, it meant my dissertation was over before I knew it. You can make an essay feel as easy as you wish by breaking it up. I would do things like writing 500 words every Friday for a few months until I hit my deadline (this is why looking at the diary is important as you can plan your word count in, as well as ensure you have enough days to go over the work and re-jig it). 12,000 words is actually only 400 words per day, for 30 days, which isn't unachievable when you put it that way. I had over 6 months to do my dissertation and had it finished in 3 months, giving me extra time to see my tutor for advice and amends. I only managed this by timing it well, I still ran a business and had a social life alongside doing this. As long as you get those 400 words in per day, you're going to do it. I think it's all about breaking things up mentally. With my degree, I had to write hefty essays most weeks and to be honest, sometimes I definitely chose a social life overwriting them and ended up doing many late night stints but that's cool, university is about having fun and 'finding yourself' too. However, I did find the quicker you got started and the more you could break it up mentally in your mind, the easier it was, once I got into this rhythm, it was all good and I didn't have to feel guilty for going on nights out, I'd worked hard to have that well deserved time off. 
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Dress online here / jacket online here 

6. Work smarter - University really is all about working smarter and figuring out what works for you, so for example, starting things early and getting ahead of the game. Time is your most precious asset, you're setting yourself back if you don't face into it and just do the work. I would divide my days up and put certain days aside for certain pieces of work. Passing is your responsibility and if you want to pass, you have to be smart with your time, manage your word count, figure your diary out. Doing this means you are in control and you can get on top of the workload, meaning you can have a social life too. University/college/work, whatever the deadline is, may seem tough right now, but a little bit of smarter working will help you. You might find my how to be your most productive blog post helpful as I talk about my top ways to work smarter. 

7. Look into the future - Think about this, in 5 years time, this period in your life probably won't matter and it's a short moment in time where you have to work really hard but it will be worth it.  Maybe this is going to get you closer to where you want to be in 5 years and if so, it's worth that extra push. In regards to University, my brother would always say to me 'enjoy University whilst you can, it's easy compared to work!'. He was definitely right, University and a 'job' are a different kind of difficulty, but, you can enjoy University and get a lot out of it so try to embrace it rather than pushing it away. Similar to this is school, it's over in a flash so try and embrace it. With work though, I am a big believer in moving on if something is truly making you unhappy, life is too short to wake up doing something you hate every day. With me, I never hated uni, I just found it really tough to juggle stuff but I have been in situations where going to work made me feel anxious and sick so I looked for a new job and felt so much better for it. 

8. Walk away - Last but not least, walk away, I don't mean from your degree, deadline or job, (unless you're incredibly unhappy and then, of course, you are in control and can walk away) but I mean, sometimes you might have been staring at the screen for too long. Often, you can't see the wood for the trees and you just need to take a step back. I always get a really bad writer's block when it comes to writing so taking time off and allowing myself to have a social life really helps.  I think stepping back gives me perspective and a fresh mind! 

So there we have it, a few tips to help motivate you through any deadlines, university or work you may have. Do comment and leave any tips you may have! 

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Lots of love, Em x

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