In my College Skills classes, I teach students about important life skills like Self Motivation and Time Management. I also (occasionally) like to practice what I preach.
A really good
trick tip I share with students and also utilize myself is to divide large projects into smaller projects–long-term goals into short-term goals.
Just this weekend, I had to finish grading a ton of essays. I was not at all looking forward to this particular chore. I was really overwhelmed just looking at the towering stack of student essays. It taunted me: “It’s SO much! You’ll never make it!” So I cut that tower into 4 smaller towers to space out between Friday and Sunday. But even making smaller towers wasn’t enough to motivate me to start tackling said towers. It was still a daunting task. So I set some small goals: grade 10 papers before noon. And I attached rewards to each one: 10 papers before noon = one hour of pleasure reading time. 10 more papers = another hour with a good book. 10 more papers = night at friend’s house. 10 more = a dip in the hot tub.
So here I am at the end of the weekend, and all my papers are graded. I finished reading Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. And I got to relax in the hot tub for a while. Although I’d rather not have to work at all on the weekend, this “break it down and give yourself rewards” plan certainly made it much easier and kept me from procrastinating until the last minute (which is why I’m not grading papers tonight and can instead enjoy the latest episode of The Walking Dead).
What rewards do you use to motivate yourself?
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