Especially at uni, lots of people just turn up with a piece of paper and a pen which works fine, but you might be surprised how much more motivated you’ll feel if you’ve got some folders, a planner, a cute pencil case and a good set of pens and text markers. Going to Paperchase and shopping for the upcoming semester or school year and picking out the most beautiful stationary I can find is always a highlight for me, but if you want to save some money, you can obviously just as well get cheap stuff at the supermarket and prettify it yourself by drawing on it or doing some crafting with paper. Being well equipped with stationary will make you incredibly excited to use it, and consequently a lot more productive!
Use a Planner
The easiest way to stay on top of your work is to be organised from the start: Get yourself a planner and write down all the work you have to get done, be it uni assignments or just chores you have to do at home. Very often, if you don’t plan out when to do what, you feel like you’ve got this overwhelmingly big mountain of work in front of you, so splitting it into smaller tasks and structuring everything in to-do lists can make a great difference, and you’ll soon notice that it’s probably quite doable after all. Apart from that, being able to tick off or cross out a task after working on something and seeing that you’ve made progress and been productive will make you feel a lot more accomplished.
Pack your bag and plan your outfits
I used to get so annoyed when my mum told me to pack my bag for school on Sunday evenings because it was usually the last thing I wanted to think off at the end of the weekend, but over time, I’ve realised I’d better followed her advice. This might not be relevant for people who have no problems with getting up early, but if you’re a morning grouch as I am, organising your things and choosing your clothes the night before can actually safe you a lot of stress, annoyance and frustration in the morning. Additionally, taking the time to put together outfits you feel really confident in will make you feel a lot more put together and motivated!
Set yourself goals
It’s a lot easier to stay motivated when you’ve got a particular aim to work towards. Thus, make a lists of goals that you want to reach this term to encourage you to keep putting effort into your work. If you document your objectives, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come at the end of term and have another reason to be super proud of yourself (and possibly treat yourself with some ice cream as a reward).
Also, always make sure to think of the bigger picture and remind yourself why studying and working hard to get good results will be beneficial to you later on. Think of why you decided to do this course in the first place, of how what you’re learning will help you get the job you want or even just how the knowledge you’re gaining will be useful to you on a personal level.
Set aside some free time
Studying a lot is of course a good thing, but also make sure you don’t overdo it and constantly pull all-nighters or work without any proper breaks – you’ll just be super exhausted and not as productive as if you’d take breaks to relax between study sessions, especially in exam season.
For example , you could plan to study from 2pm – 4pm, turn off your phone for these two hours to make sure you don’t get distracted and then meet some friends or watch your favourite show after you’re done instead of studying for 6 hours straight but checking your social media every few minutes because it’s impossible to stay focused for such a long time. (I know I’m being a bit preachy and idealistic at this point, I’m obviously just as guilty of scrolling through tumblr for hours with my pretty much abandoned textbooks lying next to my laptop as everyone else, but I suppose we could at least try to reduce it, right?)
Remember: The others don’t have a clue either
This goes out to people who have only just started high school or uni in particular: Adapting to a new environment and being literally flooded with new information can be quite challenging, but always remind yourself that your classmates are in the exact same position, and that they’re most probably just as confused as you are. Therefore, don’t feel stupid for asking seemingly obvious questions or not understanding everything right away and talk about your problems with the other students, they’ll either relate or be able to help you!