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LEARNING HACKS We rarely have so much time for ourselves as during the summer holidays. But just then the motivation to do something often reaches the absolute minimum. Only those who can overcome themselves to finally start with their own project will notice how happy it makes you feel in retrospect to have achieved something (beautiful).
This holiday you have decided not to just sit on the bed and watch videos. Instead, you have written a holiday plan. You decided to start your own project and write a book. But where did you motivation go?
Motivated start to the day
Hardly anything is as important for motivation as a good start to the day. We all know this situation: holidays, sleeping in, not getting out of bed – an obviously bad way to get up for anything. Instead: Develop your own morning routine. It’s more productive than loitering around in bed for 10 minutes and thinking about whether to exercise or have breakfast first. Because once you’ve got some energy in your day, you can use it for your project.
Create your own daily schedule
A certain daily schedule can also be very helpful. It’s like fixed hours. Times when you have no excuses to work on something other than your project right now. Fixed breaks are of course also a must. If this is too stressful for you, you can ask your parents how they managed their home office times during the Corona lockdown. I’m sure they didn’t just sit down in front of the computer at some point when they felt like it and take arbitrary breaks. After all, work without a fixed structure is more strenuous than work with structure. As exciting as it can be to be distracted by meaningless voice messages on WhatsApp, it can become annoying over time.
That you have a rough overview of what I would like to tell you here at all, I have put together an example of a half-day plan that I would follow:
- 8:00 a.m.: Waking up and reading
- 8:15 a.m.: Getting up and having breakfast
- 8:25 a.m.: Watching a motivation video on YouTube
- 8:30 a.m.: working block 1
- 10:00 a.m.: 10 min break
- 10:10 a.m.: working block 2
- 11:40 a.m.: preparing lunch/lunch break
- 1:00 p.m.: working block 3
- 2:30 p.m.: individual afternoon and holiday arrangements 🙂
Note for late risers:
The born late risers who can’t identify with this plan don’t have to get up at 8:00 a.m. every morning now. Everyone should find their own working rhythm and then develop their own daily routine. Some people are more productive in the evening, for example. That’s totally fine. Then just work in the evening. As I said before, the only important things are the work structure and – not to forget – a healthy sleep rhythm.
The method of self-extortion
Attention: This method only works with a fixed goal in mind and the specially set principle of keeping one’s promises to oneself.
All those who were not deterred by the previous Attention! can try self-extortion. A method that I have found to be an absolute help to self-discipline – and to keep my daily schedule. The principle is nothing more than: If I can’t tear myself away from the series (i.e. the one that distracts you) now, it’ll fall apart for the next two days. But if I finally start with the first chapter, there might be another episode of my favourite series in there before noon.
At first glance, that sounds anything but motivating, I know. And after all, no one is stopping you from breaking the deal you made with yourself. It’s all up to your will to prove to yourself that you can create something greater here, namely your very own book. Poetically expressed, this then boils down to a competition that increases over time: How often can you defeat your inner bastard and how far can you ultimately outgrow yourself? Granted: this kind of motivation needs a certain basic motivation, but the increasing effect at the end will surprise you.
The aim of these notes
If you want to keep your motivation in the long run, you should be able to distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation (from outside) should only be the way to the goal and not the goal itself. Of course, recognition, rewards etc. can really help you in your creative process, but in the end the motivation for your project has to come from yourself (intrinsically). Remember what brought you to this project. Interest? Curiosity? Just to create something of your own? What do you want to achieve?
- Sleep, food, drink etc. provide you with the necessary energy.
- Breaks are essential for productivity and motivation. Set fixed times and try to take the strain off your eyes, for example by doing sports or a short walk.
- Rewards should not be the reason for your work, but it is a tremendous motivation to appreciate even small progress.
- Stand confidently by your project. Take responsibility for what you want to achieve and say it out loud.
- And finally: Have fun!