Avoid the post-midterm rut

Garret McDowell

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Often, there is a large break after midterms and before finals that tends to be monotonous and carries on for a long time. In this time period, there are still important projects and exams that occur, but the impetus and drive to get it all done just seems to evaporate sometimes. What can you do to stay motivated in those last few weeks before finals come and your summer is just on the other side? Here are some tips to stay on track and motivated in the grueling weeks of April.
Find a study partner. If you’re like me, it is really difficult to self-motivate. I find that finding some other person to be with you really helps this, because you two can push each other to get things done. I am much more productive in these cases, and it leads to better habits if you start this early enough in your schooling career.
Treat yourself. There’s nothing like positive reinforcement. When you get things done, begin to reward your great behavior. Incentives work wonders, so of course it could really help turn around your studying and working habits with a bit of self-discipline.
Put the phone away. One of the biggest distractions to studying and working is the cell phone. You should just go off the radar when you need to study. Let everyone important to you know where/when to expect you or find you, and just buckle down. Putting the phone away for even just a few minutes might feel like serious separation, but it’s a good trait to develop as well, not just being introverted on your phone.
Go do some physical activity. Exercising, working out, playing sports, or just simple walking will do wonders for your psyche. Getting the endorphins flowing in your brain will make you happier and more relaxed. Being relaxed and happy will be a better studying environment, and all it takes is a little bit of exercise. Find your niche and stick to it!
Develop a list or calendar. Some of us aren’t as organized as others, and we might do things a bit unorthodox. I tend to forget things, but I began using a calendar. Now, I get little alerts on my phone that won’t stop annoying me until I get that thing done, whatever it is. Develop a to-do list or a calendar, because it will help you stay organized and help drive you to finish off the list!
Take breaks while you work. There is point to doing long marathon sessions of work or studying without built-in break periods inside of it. This will break up the monotony, bring you into better focus, and get you better prepared for even more work. You can do it, and breaks will help you achieve that!

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