Yo! This is the first of shorter/ different blog posts that I will be putting out not on a wednesday that are a little bit more like me speaking and have more of an aspect of my life in them, I hope you can benefit and enjoy them 🙂
So as it’s coming up t exam season, I’ve recently heard a LOT of “I can’t stop procrastinating please help” and “I can’t seem to revise for my exams” so I thought today, I’d help out! As an artist and writer, I have to have a bucket full of self motivation otherwise I just do nothing all day because I am extremely lazy, so here’s a few things I learned that can hopefully help you can help yourself.
1) Goals + rewards: set yourself a goal like “write a page” or “read a chapter” and reward yourself with something nice. Keep the something nice out of sight but somewhere you can visualise. This will keep it out of temptation but keep it set in your mind as a reward. NEVER EVER set time related goals e.g. “revise for half an hour” or “write for 20 minuets” because you’ll find yourself doing nothing in that time and rewarding yourself for procrastinating! Also, food is generally a bad reward, instead, have an episode of a series ready to watch or a game ready to play or even have money ready to buy something nice. This is much better motivation.
This can also help for long-term goals. Have something like “draw every day”,”write a chapter a week” or “read a book every month” and reward yourself when you complete that task.
2) Train your mind through speech: You can actually change how you think about the thing you’re doing just by saying positive/ negative things about it. So if you’ve got homework or revision that you don’t want to do, before hand look in the mirror, smile and say out loud “I really love doing homework. Doing homework makes me happy. Homework gives me a sense of accomplishment. Homework? More like Homeplay!” Saying silly over exaggerated things like this doesn’t feel like it’ll help at the time, but the more you are positive about it, the more your mind will actually believe what you are saying. Again, this can totally apply to any situation. For example, if you want a new job replace “doing homework” with “writing a CV” or “applying for jobs”.
3) Consequences: Many students think something along the lines of “oh no, if I don’t get this thing done by the deadline then I’ll get kicked off the course” and then end up worrying so much that they procrastinate instead of actually doing the thing. Instead of thinking of the consequence think of the actual thing, think of the process of doing it and the topic. Plan doing sections of it at a time leading up to the deadline and stick to them and write it down. Writing it down will calm your mind. Also think of the rewards other than getting a grade e.g. “doing this will improve my writing.”, “If I finish this then my Mum will be proud” or even “When I finish this I don’t ever have to do it again, it will be done”.
4) Smile + music: This is one of my favourites. Lately, I have found that sometimes I get bored whilst drawing and want to stop but I can’t because I’ve made myself a deadline and I want the reward that I’ve set for myself. So what I’ll do, is smile. I’ll smile while I’m working and it sometimes makes me laugh because I feel silly and it sometimes just gives me something different to do when I’m working. But most of all it makes me feel positive about what I’m doing. I also listen to music. I usually put on the soundtrack to “the legend of zelda: Wind Waker” because it is my favourite game. And because I love the game so much, it puts me in the mindset of enjoying what I’m doing.
So, I hope this helps you when you’re having trouble revising or just doing something in general. I don’t pretend to be perfect at this, I’m far from it, but I do know that these tactics work really well and have helped me through a couple of tough times 🙂
p.s. when you finish the thing, don’t only do the reward, congratulate yourself. So often people finish doing something and they go “ugh it’s so bad” but that’ll just make you feel crappy about doing it again. My advice is to be like fat Amy from “Pitch perfect and tell yourself ‘you did a great job.’