How to turn stress into success
We all know how it feels to wish there were just a few more hours in the day. But given there is not, the most productive way for students to strike a motivational balance may be by following these three tips:
1. Take Regulated Breaks & Reward Yourself
The longer you’ve been concentrating on a task, the less active your ability to focus becomes. A great way to avoid concentration fatigue is by setting up your schedule as a series of work-related tasks, followed by minimal rewards. Work for an hour, then take a break and enjoy a snack, or catch up with friends on social media. Then go back and work uninterrupted for another hour.
Figure in three to five “reward breaks” throughout each day. At the end of the week, assuming you’ve completed all your tasks, treat yourself to a night out, a movie, or perhaps dinner with friends. The key is to stay motivated about what you set out to accomplish, without allowing yourself to feel overwhelmed along the way.
2. Exercise & Eat Healthy
Nutrients provide energy and regular exercise boosts your endorphins (i.e., hormones that decrease negativity and increase positive emotions). While a candy bar may satisfy you in the short-term, fruits and vegetables – and balanced meals – function more like brain food. When you eat well, your body feels good, which makes it easier to focus. Eating well may also decrease fatigue.
In addition, a short walk or jog in the middle of the day may provide a greater benefit than a nap. Before long, you may find that you look better, feel better, and wake up every morning enthusiastic about doing it all again.
3. Transform Setbacks into Comebacks
We learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. And it’s important to remember that everyone gets knocked down. What defines character is the way you respond to those defeats.
Take a moment and get to the heart of what went wrong. Consider what you can do to avoid making that same mistake again. This won’t help you avoid all of your setbacks (occasional setbacks are a fact of life), but it will help you minimize them, while beginning to build small successes in certain areas you may have struggled with before.
As we know from Tip #1, every bit of progress deserves a pat on the back, which is all the more inspiration to succeed, time and again.