If you are anything like me, you crave the summer months and dread the winter. The sunshine, the heat, the long days, and the late evening trips to the pub bring me more joy than any snowy day. I am also 100% more motivated to do EVERYTHING in the sunshine.
In the winter, it feels like I am barely outside in the light of day! I wake up to darkness outside, and then when I finish work at 5 30pm, it’s dark… this wreaks havoc on my productivity and motivation. So, in the Summer, I suddenly have ALL the energy in the world. I don’t have to rush to do anything before I lose the light. It brings freedom from the world around me to achieve more each and every day.
Low motivation from your environment, whatever the time of year, can bleed into all aspects of your life, work, study and home.
At the moment, that means I am taking full advantage of the sunshine and doing as much as I possibly can while the motivation is still there! For me, that means lists. Lists upon lists upon lists. Lists to tidy my flat, lists for outdoor activity, and lists for things I want to learn and study.
I’ve spoken to a lot of students recently who are struggling with motivation. And so one of my recent list objectives has been to list out some motivational tips for you, for all seasons and environments to help with study motivation throughout the year.
- Making lists on sunny days – this really works for me. I have more imagination and motivation to add things to my lists when I have a sunny outlook. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get everything done immediately, I can still feel that sense of achievement after I tick them off in turn even after the initial inspiration has gone.
- Change your environment – this is mainly for those dark winter months. We spend SO MUCH more time inside during the winter months, so I get very familiar with the four walls in my flat as my only scenery. It can give you a sense of feeling a little trapped like you can’t move forward with anything. A walk can help. Or, do what I do and invite yourself over to sleep on a friend’s sofa for the weekend, it feels like a mini-break and you can change your environment and get in some excellent social time!
- Cheat with your cooking…and make it fun! – after a long day at work, followed by a long session of cooking then cleaning up, it can be difficult to muster up the motivation to do anything else but collapse on the sofa and switch on the telly. So my way around this is to always have frozen dinners ready. Either healthy pre-made food (boring) or unhealthy ‘chuck-it-in-the-oven-on-a-tray’ (fun) foods. Even as an adult, is there a more exciting dinner than sausages and potato smiley faces?!? While it cooks I can have some downtime, then feel like I have more headspace to work afterwards.
- Tell someone else what you would like to achieve – having someone remind you what you wanted to do or be there to make you more accountable for what you have promised yourself, can sometimes make the world of difference. When you only have these plans in your own head, it can be easy to shut yourself off and come up with excuses so that you can easily convince yourself not to do things.
- Bring the outside indoors with technology – there are so many soundtracks online now of nature sounds. This may not be for everyone, but I find it especially calming. Birdsongs and babbling rivers are lovely as background noise while I am working from home. It lifts my mood and makes me feel more focused and I can concentrate on a task for longer.
- Remind myself that I don’t have to achieve everything at once – I have a little pink post-it note in my diary that says ‘just do one thing at a time!’. This is to remind myself that I can only do so much in a day and to not be too hard on myself. If I don’t get everything on my list done, that’s okay. I know enough about myself to know that my energy and motivation levels will change from day to day, so I cannot always expect the same results every day. If you read three chapters yesterday and can only get through 1 page today, you should still be proud. Just WANTING and being DETERMINED to eventually achieve something can be half the battle. You will get there.
With any project or task you are trying to achieve, make sure to enjoy the journey of getting there and don’t always focus on the end result. If you have chosen to study accounting, hopefully this means you love accounting! So enjoy the puzzles that each new topic brings you. Find pleasure in the passion you have found. Remember that you are studying to get to a place where you can REALLY enjoy what you do for a living.
I hope you enjoy the upcoming sunshine and the uplifting motivation that comes with it.
Lots of smiles and hugs…Eleanor x