I received an e-mail from a reader last weekend asking me to write a post about motivation. While I definitely have my lazy moments (procrastination could easily go under “strengths” on my resume), I thought I would take a shot at the topic and share a few ways that keep me on track. Below are a list of questions that came within the e-mail similar to the format of “Once You Go Mac You Never Go Back” – an extremely helpful addition that explained exactly what I needed to address in the post. Should anyone have blog posts ideas/requests, feel free to follow in the footsteps of said reader and submit a short list of questions pertaining to a single topic. Now…on to the questions at hand…
Q: Do you get unmotivated?
A: Definitely. I tend to be a planner so when something doesn’t go according to “schedule,” it can really throw me off my game. While unexpected events/outcomes are never fun to experience, I try and remind myself that getting worked up over something that isn’t within my control is stupid – and a waste of time. In short, the past is the past so let’s accept that and focus on the future instead of lamenting on the dumb stuff! Though there are numerous influencers that can result in an unmotivated attitude, I believe that WE are the ones who control our overall level of motivation. My best advice would be to find something that motivates or excites you and to always keep that “dream” in the back of your mind – especially when you aren’t in the best of places. I know it’s cliché to say, but if we don’t have anything that excites us then what’s the point of living?
Q: How do you get motivated for school and PKP work?
A: I’m going to break this question down in to two answers:
- School: Getting motivated for school – especially in classes that don’t pertain to one’s major – can be difficult, however, it’s something we all have to deal with. In my opinion, I see college as a form of insurance that everyone should have under their belts. It is statistically proven that those who go to college are more successful/less likely to end up in jail/less likely to fall beneath the poverty line/etc than those who don’t. I’m not saying there aren’t outliers that contradict these statistics (we could make a list of thousands of individuals who have experienced extreme success that didn’t even finish high school), however, it’s not smart to gamble when the odds aren’t in your favor. The main way I get motivated to go to class/study/interact in the classroom is by reminding myself that my future is contingent upon what I do within my four years in college. In short, college in an investment. I can either work hard and get a high return or slack off wasting thousands hours of time (and money) that I’ll never get back.
- PKP: Motivation for PKP comes naturally because it’s something that I love doing. I enjoy editing photographs, writing content, experimenting with the power behind social media, and – most importantly – talking to individuals who are far more talented than myself. In all honesty, PKP is what motivates me to get an education because I know that there are substantial areas for improvement that can only be accomplished with a college education.
Q: Do you ever just want a couple of days to yourself?
A: Oh sure. I actually had one of those days last week when it seemed like everything just wasn’t going in my favor. Though it would have been easy to just have thrown in the towel, I reminded myself of the things that WERE going in my favor – cool projects, a trip with my parents, my upcoming birthday, etc. The best way to stay motivated is to keep those happy/feel good/awesome thoughts in the forefront of our minds. I actually have a section in my inbox that I’ve tagged “AWESOME E-MAILS.” Most – if not all – are notes from readers or people I look up to that remind me that life is going to be OK. I’ve always wanted to create an “inspiration board,” however, crafts are not my forte and I would probably end up burning my home down with a simple glue gun. Jokes aside, sometimes we need a personal day to unplug, reboot, and just calm down – and that’s OK! Just make sure you use those personal days wisely – and not too often.
Q: Hows your sleep schedule?
A: My sleep schedule varies, however, I usually try to have my phone on AirPlane Mode by midnight in order to be up at 6:30 the next morning. If I were you, I would set a time where you force yourself to be in bed in order to ensure you’re able to function like a normal human being the next day. Yea we all like to brag about “all-nighters” and how “OMG-SO-STRESSED” we are, but going on the coffee diet isn’t worth it. If you think about it, motivation actually has a pretty big impact on sleep schedules: the more we sleep the less motivated we are to get out of bed and the less we sleep the more motivated we are to plug on through the night working on our responsibilities/goals. If there’s one thing that I learned over the past three semesters in school it’s that balance is key. We all need those occasional saturdays when we sleep in till 10:00AM, however, it shouldn’t be something that’s routine. As of right now, my sleep schedule works for ME. If I were you, I would figure out a routine that works with your life, responsibilities, and obligations in order to ensure you’re maximizing those twenty-four hours that come with each day.
Q: How do you get back into the “zone” after all your traveling:
A: The best way to get back into the zone (not matter if it’s a trip, long weekend, or break from school) is to make a to-do list that outlines all that you have to catch up on. Yeah it’s a little daunting to look at, however, it’s a great way to “remind” yourself that vacation/down time is over and it’s time to get back to your life. Another suggestion would be to try to maximize down-time while traveling (on the airplane, sitting on the train, etc.) in order to decrease your stress level upon arriving back at home/school/wherever.