Just one more hour at the party, just one more shot at the bar, just one more hour of sleep before I start with the work…. This is called procrastination, and it’s a term describing the life of a student; but, if you’re fed up with it, here is how you can keep your mind focused on studying:

Assuming you have goals you want to reach by the end of your degree/matriculation, setting them down on a written platform is the first step to increasing focus. Write down what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it because this constantly reinforces the actions needed to reach them. Put it somewhere visible and read it daily, shifting your thought process to become increasingly vigilant to your goals. This strategy has been taught to students where I am studying, and I can vouch for its effectiveness. It starts to feel like a commitment made to yourself that you want to honor. Time is the one thing everybody wants but not even the richest person can buy. Giving tiny pieces of it toward reinforcement of your goal is one way you won’t regret using your time.

I have found that continuously seeking the success your actions will result in rapidly increases your focus on the task at hand. Pull up some pictures or pin up a few notes indicating how your success will be visible after applying different steps. Constantly being visually stimulated will increase your optimism about the task that may momentarily seem dreadful. If you are enrolled to become a doctor, feel stuck studying for a chemistry paper, and are on the brink of losing hope, looking at the picture on your wall of a patient’s improvement made possible by a surgeon will help motivate you. If you want to become an artist and you are chained by the 500 pages of history you need to study before you can obtain your degree, knowing that Van Gogh’s paintings were influenced by historical times will do the same. It is a matter of perspective that needs to improve. Having the consequences of your studying staring you right in the face will undeniably increase your focus and motivation to keep studying and to “be the change you want to see in the world.”

Even though time is so precious and we feel like we have less every day, it is important to remember that every day has the same amount of hours. Every week has the same amount of days. It remains our choice to use our time wisely and to refrain from using it ineffectively. If an hourglass’s top half has run out, it doesn’t lose its purpose; it just needs to be turned around. It needs to be turned upside down to regain its effectiveness. Sometimes life does the same, and it takes us making a 180 degree turn before we can regain insight into the success our actions will produce. Only a wise man knows that he truly knows nothing and, therefore, keeps pursuing knowledge. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember that heroes aren’t built in a single day.

Be reassured by the fact that persistent blood, sweat, and tears are sure to increase motivation and, sooner or later, your results as well.


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