How to motivate your student mind

Motivation would be great to sell right now, because it is lacking in supply and this is a very stupid economics joke. That was an attempt to say “wow us students are TERRIBLE at the whole motivation thing.”

Like seriously terrible.


But seriously, motivation is one of the biggest problems a student will face during school and for multiple reasons, which are rather subjective – yet – I want to try and help increase your motivation with this blog post.

Naturally, because we are wired the way we are, us humans like to do tasks that do not take a long time; short term tasks. For example, our instincts would rather say “Run away from that lion” instead of “Hmmmm, well, maybe, if we think about this right and go position over there, we could get this angle and…” *eaten by lion*. Another example of how we are wired for short term tasks is when we see tasty food, we think “EAT IT.” As a result, long term tasks seem intimidating and less appealing. In turn, reducing our motivation to do these long tasks. This is one of the non-subjective reasons I know that can be solved with efficiency.

If we prefer short term tasks than one simple solution would be to set specific pieces of work as short term tasks to tackle over a longer period of time. However this introduces another intimidating factor of tackling work over a longer period of time. Again we face the struggles of long term tasks. But I am going to solve this problem with something Cal Newport has taught me in his book ‘How to Become a Straight-A student’.

Things you will need:

  • A Calendar.
  • A journal/ notebook.

These can be physical or apps such as Google Calendar and Evernote which are my go to and free.

To be able to be to tackle these tasks, you must be efficient with your work. When you wake up and go about your morning routine, you should add a 5 minute scheduling task. Get out your calendar, note the times of your school and job etc and then set 30 minutes where you want to tackle a task . Once you have completed this you should leave an hour gap to compensate for reasons I shall explain soon (repeat if you have multiple tasks). Realistically, 30 minutes is not too much to focus on a task and so, you shouldn’t be scared of doing said task with a good amount of focus on your task and so you shouldn’t be afraid of your task, you know it has to be done even if you don’t like the subject. The times I suggest you do work are after breakfast and before dinner. Never before breakfast. Never after dinner. Before breakfast you are still waking up and after dinner, your body is powering down. To do your 30 minutes of the task, follow the 25 minute pomodoro technique I use. Here is the link .

Reflect on the work you have done in the 25 minutes of intense, focused, uninterrupted work and you will realise, you have done a lot of work; if you have truly committed. Here is my favorite source of motivation fuel and eventually, I end up just carrying on my work without taking the 5 minutes break that the pomodoro technique likes and I can actually tackle long winded work without really thinking about how much time I am devoting. Now you see why I leave an hour gap.

If you do not do a task you scheduled because of reasons, write it in your journal and then the following day, slot that into your schedule in your 5 minutes of scheduling. Committing to this technique is also a nice motivator even if you just give yourself the long timeslot of 1 hour after you have gotten used to the above. This is because you can witness how many tasks you actually tackle when you scroll through your previous weeks and looking at all the tasks you have managed to finish.

Do not fall for the same trap where you do all-nighter to all-nighter to complete your work. This will drain you for everything you have and creates such a huge impact on your attitude for school that you will struggle horribly to complete any task and find any motivation. Schedule your work, and use your focus times efficiently.

These are my suggestions to tackling motivation through the idea of efficiency. Of course there are other ways but I’m sure you have all heard the idea of “But remember you want to be in blank career/ university/ apprenticeship” etc. And as it can motivate some, I like adding a little scientific reasoning for motivation rather than pure passion. Because science has some sound logic that appeals to me.



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