How to stay motivated in lockdown 2.0

As always, we’ve got you covered

Lockdown is back and if you’re like me, you’re finding it really hard to motivate yourself into writing an essay or designing a presentation that actually makes sense. Never fear, this article is going to give you the down low on how to get your ass in gear.

Avoid distractions

First things first, distractions, distractions, distractions. My phone is constantly on whether it’s Facebook or Snapchat notifications. It is quite easy to pick your phone up and lose your train of thought. If this is a problem, I have an app for you.

Focus Plant on the Google App Store or Apple Store. It is a study timer that is also a game where you grow your own garden. You set a length of time you want to study, then start. If you go off the app, you lose all the rainwater you collected. At the end of the timer, you can grow your garden and celebrate 25 minutes of complete work focus.

Make ‘To Do’ lists

Is the daunting tower of essays and deadlines getting you down? Time to make some ‘To Do’ lists. These are so helpful just to make your tasks more manageable. Knowing that one essay is actually 3 or 4 bullet points is a lot less scarier than a huge block of 5000 words in one. And isn’t it satisfying when you can tick those bullet points off at the end of the day?

If bullet points don’t work, get a nice big A3 piece of paper and mind-map it. I love getting my coloured pens and highlighters out and separating the sub-headings into pretty colours.

Nifty study exercises

Here’s a technical study exercise for you: The Pomodoro Technique. Pick a project and set a timer for 25 minutes. At the end of that, take a 3-5 minute break. Then start again, 25 minutes of the clock. Do this three to four sessions then take a longer break. In theory, this technique is long enough to get some work done but without it getting too tedious.

Create a study playlist

Get your own music motivated playlist- because life is no fun without music to accompany you. Whether it’s a brand new album where you don’t know any lyrics and can’t sing along, familiar comfort songs or even instrumental playlists (movies scores to funky lo-fi songs). Sometimes, music will make the daunting essays bearable.

Dance it out

Hear me out. Sometimes after sitting for a very long time you just want to move. Scientifically proven, exercise increases your level of endorphins (a natural mood lifter) and gives you a focused activity that can help you feel a sense of accomplishment while limiting stress levels. Finding a feel good playlist on Spotify isn’t too hard and all you have to do is get out of your seat and dance. This is one way to relive tension in your shoulders and back that has probably been hunched over a laptop for way too long.

Work with friends

My favourite thing to do last year was sit in George Green, with my jacket potato and my friends, studying away with each other. I found being around people doing the same subject, I was less likely to be distracted by my phone. Since that isn’t possible, it’s time to get creative. On Zoom and Microsoft Teams, you can change your camera greenscreen and I have to say, I’ve seen some entertaining backdrops. Now, it’s super easy to pretend you’re in George Green or Hallward library. Setting up a study date with your mates has never been easier. So, get that potato in the oven, plan your date and get to work.

Eat chocolate (yes, really)

There’s never been a better excuse to indulge on the foods you love. Turns out, chocolate has been scientifically proven to help you study better. Now, you never have to feel guilty about eating chocolate again (you’re welcome).

Eating chocolate can elevate your mood and make you happy. It can improve focus, learning and your memory through the flavonoids found in chocolate. It can also reduce stress from the magnesium found in the chocolate.

Hopefully, next time your motivation is down, these may help just a little. At least you have a reason to eat chocolate and that’s all that really matters. Good luck with your essays.