Advice I Give My Friends That I Should Listen To: Staying Motivated and Productive

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If you’re like me, you give great advice to the people that you care about. If you’re also like me, you don’t listen to your advice, despite how phenomenal it is! Today we will go through tips and tricks to stay motivated and productive to finish the semester strong. These are tips and tricks I remind my friends to use in their day-to-day lives — advice I know I should be listening to too.

Keep it Clean

I find it easiest to do work when I have a clean space to work in. It may be hard, but I try to keep myself to a schedule for staying tidy. I will try to tidy up for at least 15 minutes a day, so I don’t need to do a deep clean every day. With the pandemic, doing a weekly wipe down of touchpoints can bring you some added security and comfort in your space. Sometimes, taking a break to clean up can help motivate your productivity. Doing one good thing for yourself can lead to doing a lot of good things for yourself.

Make Lists

I would be nothing without my to-do lists. I write out everything that I need to do so I don’t forget. I throw big tasks into my calendar and little things in my notes app. Paper works too! Having things written down can help keep you accountable. It also feels really good to cross out an item when you’ve accomplished it. This is the primary way I motivate myself to get things done. I often write in a self-care activity too, like doing a face mask or a pore strip. It pushes me to get through the more boring tasks to get to the fun ones.


Prioritizing your to-do lists can be beneficial in limiting stress. I tend to set deadlines for myself that fall before my actual due dates. This gives me cushion if I need it and pushes me to do my work ahead of time. It does wonders for limiting anxiety and encourages me to do my work in increments. I put the more pressing and time-consuming tasks first, that way smaller tasks appear to be finished easier. It helps me keep up with what needs to be done.

Create a Routine

Having a routine can make it easier to remain productive. I block out my free time in the morning to do my work for the day. I save the afternoon for catching up on work and spending time with my significant other and roommate. Having a plan to get X, Y, and Z finished by this time will help in staying on track for the day. Always block in time for self-care. After I finish my homework, my significant other and I will watch our favorite show together. I always get all of my work done before I start cooking dinner, so I can have a stress-free night.

Do What You Like

If you are taking classes you don’t like, it will be hard to focus and enjoy the work you are doing. When you have the opportunity to, take advantage of the classes that interest you. You would be amazed how well you can do when you are fully engaged in a class. This class could be a break class in your schedule where it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like fun.

Ask for Help

If you are struggling to do something for school or at work, ask for help! It’s okay to say, “I’m not an expert at this.” Asking for help can make the process go quicker, help you learn the topic better, and reduce the stress you feel in completing work. I take advantage of office hours and friends in class. Asking for help is one of the best things you can do yourself! Remember to stay self-compassionate.

Celebrate the Wins — Big or Little

Whether you finally finished taking an exam, or you completed a 1-point assignment, be proud of yourself!! It can be hard to stay motivated in hybrid classes, but you did it! You did work! That’s a great accomplishment! Give yourself credit when it is due and see how much easier it is for you to get work done.

At this time of the year and in this global climate, it can be really hard to motivate yourself and continue to be productive. I hope these tips help and work for you. Remember to remain self-compassionate. You are doing the best you can and that’s enough! Just keep trying! I wish you the best of luck in doing so. Until then — I am Katie, and I hope you have a fantastic day, week, month, and year of self-care and self-love. :)

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