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We’ve all been there, completely out of motivation with a mountain of work to do. Maybe you had a bad sleep, maybe you’ve been overworking yourself, maybe you’re too stressed to start, but for whatever reason you really can’t find the effort to get anything done. Or even attempt anything.


If you’re feeling like this, I recommend starting by making a list. If you really aren’t feeling it, blare some music or even do it while watching TV, but do it. Figure out what you need to have done and by when. Are you trying to make notes to keep on top of your workload? Or do you have an essay due tomorrow that you haven’t started? Break the list down into small and manageable bits (ie. don’t say ‘drama notes’, say ‘themes and quotes for act one of the play’). Then, colour code things in terms of urgency (Yay! Colour! Fun!)


Once you have your list, you can decide what to do. I know for me;on a good day I can blitz through work,but when I’m really not feeling it, I’ll get a quarter of the work done and I’ll drive myself closer to burn out. I usually try to give myself these days off, but if I wake up feeling unmotivated a couple days in a row,I know I just need to work through it anyway. So,figure out if you would be better off having a full day off to recharge and get you back into it or if you need to just crack on with it(and try not to kid yourself too much…)


If you do have urgent work you can’t put off any longer, start with the easiest part, but actually start. Don’t make a timetable, don’t arrange your pens by colour, don’t vacuum your room, just start. Put your phone in another room, and then do a small amount. More often than not, when you start it’ll be easy enough to continue, but starting is the hard part. If you can, go to a library or do whatever else you can to get rid of distractions. But just write the heading. Take the pressure off of yourself to do anything great, especially if you’re trying to write an essay or a large task,just make a start at all and get any work underway. You’ll feel better, I promise!


You can try setting a timer (not on your phone preferably…) for blocks of time to work as efficiently as you can. These don’t have to be long. Try setting a timer for 12 minutes. You will probably surprise yourself with how much you can get done and you may even find yourself not needing a break yet once that timer goes off. Time often goes a lot quicker when you’re actually doing something…


Now is probably the time to crack out the M&M’s and set yourself small reward goals. Allow yourself a break after you complete each small task and remind yourself that the sooner you get started, the closer you are to another break.

Be kind to yourself when you’re feeling off and do what you can. A bad attitude will only result in the ‘I give up’ attitude. And that isn’t getting you anywhere.


Lydia Fagen