Graphic by Anabelle Coker | The All State

Coming back from winter break can sometimes leave you in a slump where you feel you have no motivation to start the new spring semester. However, it is important to start the semester fresh with a positive mindset in order to be successful.

Here are five tips that can help you stay focused on the semester ahead of you.

1. Write everything down.

Set aside some time at the beginning of every week to go through and write down everything that you need to turn in that week. Writing down the due dates for everything in the week will help you keep track of all your assignments so you don’t forget to turn anything in. In addition, you can also schedule times that you plan to work on certain assignments before they are due. Scheduling in your planner will help keep you from procrastinating.

2. Sleep.

This might seem insignificant but it truly is one of the key components to staying focused on school. By getting little to no sleep you are setting yourself up to have low energy and with the energy that you do have you are going to feel less motivated to use it on your schoolwork. Ensuring that you are consistently getting a good eight hours of sleep is crucial to keeping your energy levels high, better preparing you to go to your classes and complete your assignments.

3. Give yourself incentives.

Acknowledge your accomplishments no matter how small and give yourself a little credit. Set small goals and give yourself an incentive that will make you feel excited when you accomplish them. For example, tell yourself if you go to all your classes for the week you can go to your favorite restaurant with some friends. If you finish an assignment that you had not been motivated to do, treat yourself to a fun snack, a nap or a walk—whatever works for you personally. Maybe if you have something that you have really wanted to buy for yourself but have been putting it off, tell yourself if you complete all your assignments on time for the first quarter, then you can buy that item. No win is too small so celebrate each one to remind yourself you are doing great.

4. Minimize your screen time.

Try turning off your phone while you are doing your assignments and only allow yourself to turn it back on once you finish the assignment. This will keep you from procrastinating the assignment and will help keep you focused on the task at hand. It will also allow you to finish the assignments quicker because you will be less distracted and more motivated to get them done so that you can check your phone again. However, also just limiting your screen time in general and not just when you are doing assignments will help you be more present and will make you find other ways to stay busy—completing your assignments, reading a book, cooking a new meal, getting outside, etc.

5. Spice things up.

Find ways to make doing your assignments fun, or at the very least, more interesting. Changing your environment can be a fun way to make completing your assignments less of a chore. If you like being outside, go to the park and sit outside while you do your work. Go to a local coffee shop and do your work there. Invite some friends to sit with you in the library while you all work on assignments. There is always somewhere new you can explore while getting things done.