Fair warning: this will not be a perfected ‘day in the life’ with an extortionate amount of motivation. This is a real example of a casual day in my life as an English Literature and Creative Writing student trying to stay motivated.
Routines are important.
To start off my day, I look on my phone at my list of daily tasks such as: brushing my teeth, doing my skincare, getting dressed and eating breakfast. Now you might think that these tasks seem menial and unimportant in the grand scheme of things, however setting up your day is vital. I find that if I don’t physically tick these tasks off a list, they are so easily forgotten, and my day slowly falls apart. For example, I might forget to eat breakfast because I immediately throw myself into a big task for the day and I’ll suffer from it later when I start to get irritable, and the task becomes more and more difficult to complete because of my mood. Granted, I could just be having a bad day, but the chances decrease when I know that there is food in my stomach because there is fuel for the day.
How do you feel?
Once my daily tasks for the morning are completed, I check in with how I am feeling because now I’m fully awake and physically prepared for the day. Am I ready to take on the world or do I want to curl up back in bed?
Checking in with how you feel and understanding your motivation level is a great way to avoid a breakdown as you don’t want to give yourself tasks that you can’t handle. If I feel low and unproductive, I’ll read a book or I’ll go out and get a coffee, attempting to get myself out of that unproductive headspace. On the other hand, if I feel great, then I give myself a big task to get done, for example: I will start writing an essay. I tell myself that I’ll study for 2 hours, have a 20-minute break, study for another hour and then give myself another 20-minute break.
I’ll breakdown exactly what I do during this time:
- I will set myself up with some music, either classical or soft music.
- Put away my distractions into a draw.
- Get everything I need- water, tea, notebook, laptop, pen, jumper, etc.
- Then for the first 20-30 minutes of studying, I set up a plan on how I will write the essay. I may decide to tackle the introduction first or I will set up all my quotes in the order I wish to mention them in. Mostly I write out my intentions for each paragraph to help me focus on the point I want to make.
- I then will follow my study plan for the rest of the time. During my break, I still try to avoid using my phone as my focus will drift away from the task at hand.
At the end of this study session, I check in with myself again and I’ll evaluate if I can continue writing my essay or if I need to switch to a different task.
Don’t forget yourself.
After all my tasks are completed or are partly finished, I will then go on about my day as I wish. Either I binge a new Netflix show, or I might have to go to work, visit my boyfriend, take a nap or go to London with my best friend. Just because I am a student, it does not mean that my life is all about studying. Don’t forget to prioritise things and people in your life that make you happy.