I've recently embarked on a journey to a healthier lifestyle -- one that involves eating food that is not only tasty, but good for me, exercising regularly, and staying active and drinking more water. I love mornings but hate waking up at 5:45 to get going on my workout -- yet, I know that after I finish, I'll feel so much better. As soon as I start hemming and hawing and griping about how I don't want to workout or eat healthier, I stop and tell myself how I AM going to do that workout (even if it kicks my butt!) and I AM going to eat what's better for me and avoid temptation to eat another helping (because I really don't need it). Part of it is just changing my thoughts. If I'm telling myself that I don't want to do it, I don't like it, etc. ..., then I'm less apt to actually accomplish it if instead I change my mindset. I've actually begun to love running in the mornings, choosing meals that are healthy (and totally delicious), and foregoing pop and fruit drinks. My favourite tip for motivation is Nike's -- just do it! I can't tell you how many times I've had to tell myself that and how much it helps me to get up and get going.
When Libby emailed us about this month's Tips & Tricks topic, I laughed as I turned on an episode of The Office that I've seen at least twice. Never mind about the two midterms I had to study for.
I'm awful about procrastinating. Lately, I've been putting everything off until the weekend, then locking myself in my room until Sunday night when I finally finish. I would recommend turning off the Internet. A few weeks ago I had a paper due Tuesday night. It was Tuesday, 6pm-ish, and I hadn't even started it. I got on a plane from DC to Denver, pulled out my laptop and textbook, and pounded out a paper in an hour. Remove distractions. It works.
When I lack motivation, which lately seems to be happening quite a bit, I set small deadlines and rewards for myself. This may sound silly, but it really does work. For example, if I know that I have a paper due by the end of the week, I break the work off into small chunks for each day. If I've completed the day's work, then maybe I'll reward myself with reading a good book or baking a batch of cookies. Bit by bit, I get things done, until I've arrived at Friday with nothing but a weekend to enjoy.
It might seem easier to put things off and leave them until the morning. But trust me--it isn't. I'm left with broken sleeps, stressed mornings and an eternal sense of worry when I procrastinate. The most important thing I do to deal with this is to plan ahead. Arrange short study sessions in the weeks leading up to exams instead of cramming the night before. Put away laundry as soon as it is ironed rather than letting it pile up on the dresser. Do your homework the day that it's set, not the day before it's due. Take control of your time!