Tried and Tested Motivation Hacks for International Scholars

Tried and Tested Motivation Hacks for International Scholars

Going back to school is a bittersweet thing. On one hand, you want to meet your friends after a long summer break and catch up with them. On the other, going back to the routine of classes and submissions can be tedious.

When you’re an international student, all the bad things become multiplied, so staying motivated becomes a challenge you didn’t sign up for.

But, it’s important to be at your best when you’re studying. Getting a job is competitive, and you need to bring your A-game if you want to win. If you want to know how to motivate yourself to study hard, read on.

Motivation Hacks All Students Should Utilize

Set Priorities for Your Tasks

There is no end to the course work and assignments for college students. On top of that, if you have personal projects, then your day will be stuffed.

Typically, what follows is you not getting anything done because of the stress of it all. That is normal, and there is a simple way to beat this mentality.

Assign priorities for each of your essays and projects. The level could be set based on the credits the project carries, the time left to submit it, or how much you enjoy doing the task.

You can indicate the different levels of priority with colors or numbers. This will make it easier for you to know in which order to complete the tasks.

It is also helpful if you have all your submissions displayed on a calendar. This way, you’ll never forget what needs to get done.

Keep In Touch with the Folks at Home

One of the major causes of unproductivity for international students is being homesick. In the initial stages, you’ll be excited to live life on your own, and the excitement might overshadow the homesickness.

But, once the initial adrenaline rush passes, you’ll be hit with a pang of sadness. To alleviate that, talk to your family regularly.

Arrange video calls at least bi-weekly with your parents. It doesn’t even have to be a long call. Just a 10-minute catch-up with those at home will have you feeling refreshed. 

Make Time for Physical Activity

It’s very easy to get caught up in the laborious task of studying. But you need a mental break, and your body needs to perform physical tasks.

Set aside time at least three times a week for 1 hour of physical activities. It can be a walk or something more intense, but getting fresh air is very important to your mental health.

Use Procrastination to Your Advantage

A fatal habit most college students have is procrastination. It is hard to beat. But, there is a way you can use it to your advantage.

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you possibly have a mental block that stops you from completing the hardest task on your to-do list.

Say you have to clean your room, study for a test, and complete a 2000-word essay. You will be more inclined to clean your room, which is usually the easiest of all these chores.

So, if you want to beat this mentality, you have to create a task that is more difficult than the hardest one on your list. For example, assign yourself a 5000-word essay.

With this task on the line, you’ll find it easier to do the 2000-word essay.

Rise Early in the Day

It’s all too tempting to keep snoozing your alarm, especially if your class doesn’t start until 2 p.m. that day.

Fight the urge to do this. When given the option, you might try choosing the class that is set to happen earlier in the day.

Since you will be forced to wake up early to make it to the class, you’ll certainly have more time to get things done during the rest of the day.

However, if you do not retain information well during the early hours, opt for classes that occur later in the day, so that you have all day before your classes to get things done.

What to Do with Your Phone

This tiny gadget is the reason for many people’s loss of motivation and productivity. Thankfully, there are ways to keep yourself from being consumed by it completely.

  • Turn Off Notifications

If you’re not a complete cellphone addict, then this productivity hack will work for you. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode while you’re working.

As a further measure, place your phone face-down and away from you. For example, if you’re working at your desk, put your phone on your bed. Even though it’s tiny, this distance will discourage you from picking up your phone.

  • Use App Timers

If your self-control ability is not too great, then app timers could work well for you. There are many timer apps that control your app usage.

The timer app will cut you off from a particular app after you’ve spent a specified amount of time on it. This works well to keep you from time-wasting social media apps.

  • Use Airplane Mode

If you are certain you won’t get important phone calls, then putting your phone in airplane mode is the best option. This way, you won’t even risk getting notifications.

  • If Push Comes To Shove, Turn Off Your Phone

If you’re confident that you can’t stay away from your phone, try turning it off when you’re studying. If you’re able to get a couple of focused hours of work in, that’s more than enough.

Make Practical Schedules That Are Easy To Stick To

Everyone is overconfident about their abilities. You’re pumped with motivation at the start of the day. This in turn instigates you to put un-accomplishable things onto your to-do list. At the end of the day, you may not be able to get through them all.

Nothing is more demotivating than seeing a list of tasks you’ve failed to complete. This will slow you down the next day, and reduce your overall productivity.

So, when making your schedule, make sure you give yourself milestones that you can achieve. Factor in unexpected time losses and a ton of grace time to get your task done.

This way, if you’re able to complete the task sooner than you’ve scheduled, you’ll feel better about yourself. This is one of the most practical productivity tips for students.

Declutter Your Living Space

A cluttered room will lead to a cluttered mindset. This makes it harder to focus on your studies.

Make your bed before you leave for your classes. This way, your room will at least be partially put together when you get back home.

If your room is so messy that it’s like a bomb went off inside, then you’ll be forced to spend time cleaning it. This will make the important task of studying shift to the backseat. So, make it a point to clean up as you go.

The following is a simple rule: If a task takes you 20 seconds or less to complete, do it now. Putting off such trivial tasks will snowball into one big cleaning day later.

Eat Traditional Food from Your Hometown

You may scoff at this one. After all, how is food going to make you motivated? Believe it or not, it does have an impact.

For starters, the more food you eat, the more energy you have. The more energy you have, the more productive you can be.

But, eating food from your childhood, or food that triggers happy memories causes your brain to release serotonin. The joyful feeling you get afterward will help motivate you to study harder.

Set Up a Happy Place in Your Home

Loneliness is an enormous motivation killer. When you’re living in another country, and worse, if you don’t even have a roommate, then it’s very easy to fall into a slump.

Your happy corner can be anything you want. If pictures from back home make you happy, then hang those up. If books and blankets give you comfort, create a reading nook.

Ideally, this place shouldn’t also be where you study, but if you’re living in a tiny dorm, then it might be inevitable. Staying motivated throughout the school year is an unfair expectation, especially from international students. But these productivity hacks will help you get your work done efficiently.

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