This blog post is part of a series of #WellnessWednesday tips. This week, Lower and Middle School Counselor Adam Diaz shares how students can stay motivated during the pandemic.
If you find yourself struggling with motivation during COVID-19, you’re not alone. This year has been filled with change, including how and where you do work. Things that may have helped to motivate you in the past: having a physical separation between the classroom and your bedroom, being surrounded by Landon’s beautiful academic buildings, having your teachers, classmates, and coaches right beside you, are no longer there in the same way. This means that since things around us are changing, we need to adapt and think about the best ways to motivate ourselves during this time. Here are a few strategies that I hope you can try!
1. Spend time writing out your plan before you start!
How you do work, and how you turn it in have changed. It may be difficult for you to keep track of all of the communication and instructions, so taking time before you start work to write out a plan can be very useful. To form this plan, check your emails, and write down any important communications from teachers. Then, write out all of the assignments you have due, when they are due, and how you need to submit them. As you complete work and submit it, cross it off of your list! Having the instructions for how to submit, can save you a lot of mental energy.
2. You need connection!
If you felt that having your classmates around motivated you in the past, you have reason to feel this way. We all need connection, and some of us work better with others around. If you find that being alone makes it hard for you to focus, think about doing work in a more public part of your home, like the dining table, or living room. Also, consider setting up group study sessions with a couple of friends over Facetime or Zoom.
3. Time yourself
Before you begin work, designating specific amounts of time per assignment may be helpful. Try using apps like Tomato Timer or Focus Keeper to have a visual representation of time as you work. If you are doing a group study session, you can practice the “Pomodoro Method,” which prioritizes working for 25 minute bursts, with five-minute breaks in between. During these five minutes, chat with and joke with your friends!
4. Reward bundling
I personally hate ironing, but love watching Watchmen on HBO. In order to get my ironing done, I only let myself watch Watchmen when I iron. Suddenly, I associate ironing with watching one of my favorite shows! If you struggle with asynchronous work, connect it to something you love! Love hot chocolate? Make yourself one when doing math! Love listening to music? Play your favorite artist while getting to work! Change the feeling associated with tasks that you struggle with.
5. You need time for yourself!
Finally, and most importantly, you need to make sure you are making time for yourself! Schedule fun time, breaks, time to eat, time to sleep, time with family and friends, and time to exercise. Remember that taking care of your mental and physical health are always the priority!