We’ve all had those days where you have so much work to do but you don’t know where to start and you have no motivation. You wake up one morning and realise you can no longer put off the huge workload so it’s going to be a long day either in the library or at your desk at home. So how do you motivate yourself and keep yourself going?
Before I go any further, I’m going to mention that I am a second-year photography student, which means I don’t write many essays like other courses do. However, when I do, my work method it’s completely different from what it would be like if I was editing or doing portfolio work. When doing my portfolio work or editing my images within Photoshop or Lightroom, I can usually have a Television show or film on in the background. It can’t be one that I’m completely hooked on for example ‘Pretty Little Liars’ but it can be one where I’m interested in the characters and the storyline, however it does not require my full attention for me to understand what is going on.
During the first term of my first year, I spent my time watching the TV show ‘Fringe’, it’s about forensic science and I’d definitely recommend it. I hadn’t even started my portfolio work for one of my modules, so one weekend I woke up continued watching it on my laptop, I then gathered my sketchbook, sat on the floor and just got on with it.
It had to be done sooner or later right?
I think I started a few episodes into the final Season and by midnight I had one episode to go and ad managed to complete a lot of work, it felt great!
If you prefer to work in a library which I sometimes do, I enjoy listening to an artist I have on my iPods new CD one, Jess Glynne is an example, I heard her single for Children in Need ‘Take Me Home’ but I had not thought of listening to any of her other songs until I was sat in the library one afternoon debating what to listen to.
Or I’ll listen to soundtracks, I spent my first year listening to the ‘Wicked’ soundtrack despite never seeing it on stage (I still haven’t sadly) but it’s a great one to listen to and keeps you going. I went to the theatre to see ‘Oliver’ over Christmas so I’ve spent some of my time this year listening to that soundtrack because I’d forgotten how good it was!
As for essays and revision, (I no longer have exams, but this is what I did for GCSE and A level) I can’t work in silence it drives me mad, and I can’t listen to music with any lyrics in because I get distracted easily by the lyrics. So I’ll usually listen to instrumental soundtracks from films or TV shows, when I wrote the draft for my essay this year I began by listening to the soundtrack from ‘Once Upon a Time’ it’s about 40 minutes long so it’s always a nice see how much I can write during that time. I do have an app on my iPod called Pomodoro+ it has a timer for 25 minutes and then gives you a five-minute break. Also, you can set yourself goals on the screen, so I usually try to write at between 200 - 300 words in 25 minutes. It’s a great app to help you keep focused because you have a time limit and a clear break, and because it is only five minutes you cannot get too distracted by other things.
Dana Rookwood (20). Photography student.
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