How to Stay Motivated in Unmotivating Times

As finals approach, many students struggle to find motivation to start studying and work on their projects. This is a common feeling, but there are strategies and tips to help get you back on your feet and finish strong!

Set a Schedule

Making a schedule is crucial to stay organized during finals. Students tend to procrastinate or underestimate projects and so it’s important to create a reasonable plan that ensures you have time for everything. One way to do this is by making a list of and organizing your priorities to help you stay on track. Creating a game plan can also help make sure that you are not neglecting other aspects of your life, such as self-care, work, or recreation. 

Change your Surrounding

If you find yourself tired or distracted while studying, changing locations can help restore your energy. There are many places on and off campus that are open for students, like coffee shops, labs, and study rooms. Ellis Library is also open 24/7 and provides many quiet study areas for concentration. 

If you don’t want to leave home, then try to make the environment around you more suitable for studying. Taking a moment to clean off your desk or take out the trash can help remove unnecessary distractions. During late study sessions, cracking open a window or turning on extra lights can help keep you attentive and focused at the task at hand. 


During finals, exercise tends to be the last thing on students’ minds. However, exercise has been proven to help with cognitive performance, sleep, and concentration. Taking a 30-minute break and going on a quick walk or jog can also help relieve stress from finals. 

If you find it too cold to go outside or to the gym, yoga and meditation are a great alternative because you can do it in your home. There are many short tutorials on YouTube that guide you through poses and breathing meditation. Meditation can help clear the mind and help give you a second to reset. 

Take a Break

It is important that you take a break every once and a while! Go get coffee or call a friend for support. Do something that will help you feel refreshed and ready to start again when you come back. MU Engage also has a plethora of events and brain breaks for students. To avoid procrastination, set an alarm, so you have plenty of time to study to complete your work. 

Studying is important for success, but taking care of yourself is as well! Be sure to eat nutritious food, sleep for at least 7 hours, and take care of your body during these stressful times. After finals you will have a long break. You got this Tiger, stay strong!