What's wrong with motivation

7 ways in which overwhelmed students can motivate themselves

by Tim Reichel

Prize question: What percentage of all students have ever felt overwhelmed with their studies?

Right: 100 percent.

So if you felt alone with your low motivation and thought that you are the only person at the university who is over your head, I can calm you down. But only briefly, because you are about to work.

Smaller phases of excessive demands are quite normal when studying - everyone has to struggle with motivation problems during their university career and has to survive a wide variety of crises. But very few face these difficulties and realize that they can massively improve their situation themselves.

In this article, I'll show you how to do just that.


Read the ass kick book grati s!


This is how overwhelmed students motivate themselves

If you are overwhelmed in your studies, there are amazingly simple ways and means how you can improve your situation and study in a much more relaxed manner. Here are seven ways in which overwhelmed students can motivate themselves:


1. You come to terms with reality

Every student has motivation problems every now and then. But some students deal with this situation much better than the rest. What they do differently: They accept their current situation.

The first small step towards more motivation is therefore to acknowledge your motivation problem. Make it clear to yourself that you are currently not in the mood and are postponing important things, although you should have been active a long time ago. Do not judge yourself, but be honest with yourself: You lack the motivation to tackle your tasks and get started.

Name your troubles directly, but don't focus on the negative mood. You must not sink into self-pity; rather, it is about recognizing the problem and then focusing directly on the solution.

Reading tip: Whining allowed: Why you should complain more about your studies


2. You get an overview

Your studies are one of the biggest projects of your life. It is a mammoth task and requires your full energy. New tasks and challenges are pouring in on you every day. But especially when you feel overwhelmed, you shouldn't lose track.

Because if you take a closer look at your studies, it is nothing more than a collection of many, small, interlinked tasks. But this abundance of individual steps looks like a terribly large hurdle at first glance; a mountain of tasks that in your imagination you can never climb.

You will be overwhelmed by your lectures, exams and student papers and lose your bearings in this tangle of obligations. And then control. That is why you have to get a precise overview of your current situation and orient yourself during strenuous phases. Otherwise you get bogged down.

Reading tip: The watermelon tactic: dismember your studies and never lose track of things again!


3. They sort out their thoughts

Your head is full. Every day you have to think of a thousand things that you somehow have to absorb, process and evaluate. You literally drown in the opportunities presented to you and are overwhelmed by far too many tasks. But what happens to all this information, appointments and important memories that you must not forget? Right: They're scurrying around in your head. And: they block you.

That's why they have to get out of there. You have to create space and free your head of all the ideas and information so that you can concentrate on your tasks and are not constantly distracted. The plan for this is simple: you take everything that is in your head and put it in another place - in a list, for example. In this way you ensure that your internal resources are free again and that you do not have to expend energy to suppress or temporarily store thoughts.

Clear your head and throw your thoughts out. Do not waste valuable thinking capacities, but move all information to an external location - and record it there. Especially when you are overwhelmed with lots of little things, this is an effective way to organize your thoughts and bundle all of your tasks into a simple list.

Reading tip: Getting Things Done: How to use the GTD method to remove the chaos in your head forever


4. They make plans

When your tasks pile up and your to-do list overflows, there is one thing you mustn't do: work blindly. If you enter this demanding situation without a strategy, you will drown from being overwhelmed.

Self-motivated students know that. That's why they don't start a study or work session headless. First of all, they draw up a plan - a battle plan, with the help of which they can fight their way through the task force step by step.

And the beauty of it is: This plan doesn't have to be extensive or involve sophisticated techniques. It is enough if you collect your tasks (and their individual steps, see point 2) on a simple list and then arrange them according to priority. If you now assign a deadline to each to-do, you can get started and you are guaranteed not to go under haphazardly.

Reading tip: Self-management for students: How every dodel gets his studies under control


5. You visualize your goals

Clear goals will help you stay motivated and focused during work-intensive phases. Your goals only get their full driving power when you visualize them. Visualization is the magic word: As soon as you imagine your goals in detail and imagine how great your situation will be, you will be deeply motivated to actually achieve this state.

It's not about taking refuge in a fantasy world and confusing this wishful thinking with reality. You must not rest on the thought that everything is fine and that - no matter what - you have a bright future ahead of you. No: you have your future in your own hands and you can take care of your best successes all by yourself.

To get there, however, you first have to visualize these moments of happiness and have a very clear view of what you want to achieve. Only then can you target your way there. Therefore, create a strong mental picture of each of your goals by imagining how happy and satisfied you will be when you have achieved your goal.

Reading tip: Why you should never lose sight of your goals while studying - a little story


6. You only think about the next step

If you want to be constantly overwhelmed and want to fail while studying, then I have a tip for you: Try multitasking. Multitasking is the fastest way to lose motivation, burn out, and become unhappy.

If you want to study productively, you have to focus. Your full attention must be focused on the here and now. Do not worry about ten things at the same time, but work through one measure at a time. From now on, single-tasking is your motto: Do ​​only one thing and concentrate on your current task - nothing more.

Just think about the next step and only take care of this one (partial) task. First of all, you can't do everything anyway and, secondly, there's no point opening too many construction sites at the same time. You have to go step by step and slowly but steadily approach your goal. Successful students therefore almost never practice multitasking, but always focus on one thing.

Reading tip: The amazingly simple secret of highly productive students


7. They remember their successes

Reminiscing about the past and holding on to what happened usually doesn't get you anywhere. You have to look to the future and not let things stop you that you can't change anyway. But there is one exception: your successes.

Overstrained students know this and therefore draw strength from the past. Thoughts of personal successes can inspire you and show you impressively what you are capable of. If you recall successful actions and you manage to transfer the situation back then to your current situation, you can develop a similar dynamic.

You pick up on your old successes, so to speak, and just pick up where you left off. But with all the euphoria: You must not use your pan into the past to rest on your successes. Yes: you achieved something great. But if you sit back and relax and wait, your earnings will quickly be outdated and you will fight back to catch up. You should draw strength from your past, recharge your batteries and then continue motivated. Only then are you allowed to put your feet up.

Reading tip: How you can tell that your degree is exactly right for you


Read the ass kick book grati s!



Every student is overwhelmed with their studies from time to time. Modern courses not only follow a tight schedule, but rather aim to push you to your performance limits - and beyond.

But if you take your studies seriously and approach such phases with the right strategy, you will not give up because of all the work and withdraw exhausted; you will motivate yourself, clench your teeth and grow beyond yourself.

Self-motivation is therefore one of the most important skills that you must master as a student. In the course of your studies you will constantly encounter new challenges that leave you overwhelmed and desperate. But in these situations it is decided whether you are one of the successful students who can cheer themselves on and tackle their tasks, or whether you are one of those procrastinators who constantly work against themselves and thus cannot move.

It's in your own hands.

PS: Individual passages from this article are excerpts from my ass-kick book. You can find more information here (click).


Image: © Ilya Yakover / unsplash.com