I am currently writing this because *surprise surprise*, I am currently dealing with motivational burnout. This wasn’t something that was on my to do list to write, but I would like to read something like this myself so it gave me inspiration to sit and write down my tips and tricks to overcome motivational burnout. I do think that it is natural for this time of year, its the slump between holidays and exams (or summer if you are not a student), making it very easy to feel like you are constantly on a treadmill of work and theres no chance of getting off it anytime soon. I always feel sluggish and just a bit down in the dumps during these few weeks, and I think that a lot of you will be feeling like it too, so I though to come up with 5 ways to cope with motivational burnout.
These tips are mainly tailored towards students, because I am currently a student, however you could apply these tips to any workplace or career. I have tried to make them as transferable to all ages as possible.
- Use online resources
There are so many useful resources online, specifically targeted at increasing your productivity and efficiency, and these are especially important when you are experiencing motivational burnout. I really like ‘study-tubers’ (such as unjaded jade- who I actually interviewed here) and find that if I am struggling for motivation, watching some of their videos always motivates me and gets me back on track. For example, when I am not in the mood to be productive I find myself sitting on my phone a lot, so having something like a real time study with me on my phone helps me to stay focused and not spend 90% of time on my phone. There are also plenty of motivational podcasts out there, which are useful to have on in the background to help with productivity. I have been really enjoying podcasts recently, so I am actually thinking of doing a whole post where I talk through my favourites… not just motivational ones! There are so many resources out there to help you fight motivational burnout, use them!
- Take a break- you clearly need it.
Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say ‘I’m out… I’m done’ and take a break to get yourself out of a motivational burnout. Yes your to do list is going to suffer, but its best your to do list suffering than your mental health. A few weeks ago is a perfect example of this… I had been focusing on my philosophy essay for DAYS and I knew that if I spent one more day looking at my laptop screen I was going to combust. So me and my nan went on a day out shopping together. Did it get things ticked off my to do list? No. Did I feel rather guilty because I should have been working? Yes. Did it make me feel better in the long run? Definitely. I had a fab day in the sunshine with my nan and I came back feeling refreshed and ready to go again… plus I was able to take all of the photos that are in this blog post which I love! Remember that you are not a robot, and although that is something I need to learn myself, I am trying to take more time out for myself this year.
- Dont compare yourself to what others are doing, even though it feels impossible.
I think that this is a very important point, even though at the time it feels almost impossible to do when you re experiencing motivational burnout. The worst feeling when you have had a super unproductive day but then all of your friends are talking about how much they have got done that day and inevitably it makes you compare yourself to others. I know that it is super hard to not compare, and I still do now, but I would try to not focus on what other people have done and instead focus on whether you are proud of what you have achieved that day. Only you know where you need to be to get what grades you want- so use that to compare yourself rather than others who are doing completely different courses and will have different work styles to you. Plus they might be having a motivational burnout when you are getting back on your feet- stress and workload is all relative. This point is especially crucial for university students, as you are CONSTANTLY surrounded by people in the same boat as you. Even when you go back to your flat, your flatmates are also stressed university students, so the stress tends to bounce around each other and feel like you can never really quite escape it. Take the time to acknowledge this as it is very difficult to not compare yourself but if you can find a way, it is very beneficial.
- Force yourself into a different environment
Sometimes the main reason for my motivational burnout is just because I am sat in the same place for too long and I am beginning to go stir crazy, and this causes me to lose all motivation entirely. I think its because you are used to being in the same place, so your mind starts to wander and you lose your productivity. If I’m experiencing motivational burnout, then I try to switch up my location as much as possible to study, and I find that it always resets my productivity. Even if its just a different room in your house, if I can feel my mind wandering I will go and make myself a cup of tea and then change my location, as a new environment gets me back on track and away from motivational burnout. I don’t even know how to explain why, it just works! There are SO MANY PLACES to discover, especially if you are at university, in the shape of study rooms, libraries (most universities have many libraries and they have such a productive vibe) and coffee shops. You could study in a different place everyday at university and still have places to discover, I really enjoy that aspect of university for studying as I go stir crazy just studying in my room all day.
- Put everything into perspective
Sometimes you don’t know how stressed or run down you are until you start talking about it with someone, and the more you talk about it the more you realise the amount of stress that has been building up inside of you. I ALWAYS talk to my nan when I’m feeling like this, as she’s so good at making me feel better even though I feel like I moan to her about university all of the time. Even if you feel like you are moaning a lot, don’t bottle it up as its always best to speak to someone about how you are feeling and I am 99% sure it will make you feel better during a motivational burnout. Sometimes if I don’t feel completely better after a chat or I don’t have the opportunity to chat to someone, I also find writing things down helps me to rationalise my feelings and put it into perspective.
I hope that these tips and tricks have helped if you are feeling this way right now, and I hope that applying these tips will hopefully help you get out of your slump and ease the motivational burnout. I know that exam season, so if you are a student right now then GOOD LUCK! Whether you are at GCSE, A level or even your degree, you have 100% got this and I know that all of your hard work is going to pay off when you open such fantastic marks on your results day, its just the last push before the start of exam season now.