After a long day at school — whether in person or on Zoom — the amount of homework students face on a daily basis can be overwhelming. Along with this is an endless cycle of tests, quizzes, and extracurriculars, making it easy to understand why many students succumb to burnout, especially towards the end of the year. While it may seem impossible to stay motivated when there’s so much to do, there are multiple steps students can take to manage their responsibilities and balance their schoolwork with enjoying life.
One important way to increase motivation is to set realistic goals. Many students strive to get all A’s only to be disappointed when they do not achieve their goal, and this often makes students more likely to give up or put in less effort. However, by setting more realistic goals, students can make incremental progress and receive a boost of confidence that will be an incentive to improve. For example, instead of aiming for a specific grade average in a class, students can focus on doing the best they can on each assignment.
Another way students can prevent burnout is by rewarding themselves after completing tedious tasks. It’s important to understand what is motivating — for some, talking to friends is rewarding, while baking desserts may be more relaxing for others. As long as the activity relieves stress and takes students’ minds off of school, it will make students feel reenergized for the next time they have to do schoolwork.
Because students often have to complete hours of homework every night, it’s important to ways to make this as enjoyable as possible. When working on homework or studying, make sure to drink water, eat snacks, work somewhere comfortable, and listen to music that won’t be distracting. It’s also important to ensure that students have an organized workspace. When there’s papers everywhere and it’s hard to find assignments, it can make students feel even more overwhelmed.
Stress and burnout are normal — especially for students — but there are ways to decrease the effect they have, and taking steps to improve motivation will certainly have a positive impact on students.