How to Hack Your Mind into Being Motivated (and Not Hating School)

When it comes to success, there’s one quality that can make or break any effort… Motivation. With enough motivation, anyone can do just about anything. And yet motivation is one of the biggest struggles these days… Especially when it comes to everyday things such as schoolwork. A lack of motivation is one of the biggest reasons for poor grades or late work. Anyone who’s ever had problems motivating themselves knows it’s not as easy as recognizing the lack to gain motivation… So how can you motivate yourself, whether that be for school, projects, or even chores?

Limit Distractions

Sometimes, gaining motivation isn’t an option. In that case, it’s a matter of willpower, which you can help out by removing distractions. Instead of trying to work on something in your room, next to your phone, books, and other much more interesting things… Bring only what you need, and go to another room or outside to work. Removing distractions helps to stay focused on the task at hand, regardless of motivation levels. You can also add some incentive to finish working on things, such as making a reward like candy or an activity if you finish a certain amount of work. Having someone else in control of the reward can keep you from skimping off work you don’t want to do as well.

Think to the Future

As effective as forcing through with outside incentive and minimal distractions can be, having motivation to complete the task is still more efficient and enjoyable. The best way to be motivated, especially in schoolwork, is to think… How will this help me in the future? Why will this be beneficial to me? If you can’t think of a reason, such as this information I’m learning will be used in my preferred career or even I need these grades for college or a job, make a reason.

For example, I like to write, and occasionally I’ll mix what I’m learning in school into a story. Historical fiction that takes place at the same time as my history lesson, scenarios in which chemistry is used that my nerdy character can partially explain before realizing no one wants to hear it, or two characters bonding over math homework that one tries to explain to other. I need to know the topics in and out to be able to write them seamlessly into a book, which helps greatly in my studying. This could be used for drawing, acting, music, or any other artistic hobby if you put enough creativity into it.

Reverse Psychology

Lastly, adopt the “I don’t care” mentality. It sounds very counterproductive… Why stop caring when you’re supposed to try to care more? This is especially helpful if your motivational problems are primarily due to anxiety crippling you. I found this out going to my first job interview, feeling like I was about to puke and wanting to walk right back out the door. But instead, thanks to something my dad told me, I decided to stop caring. To just consider this an experience, stop caring that I might not get the job, but do it just to say I do it.

Once I stopped worrying about the end result and did it just to do it, the stress faded away. Being more relaxed, I had a better appearance and was able to think better than in my panicked state. To do the same for schoolwork or projects proved to be effective. Stop worrying about the grade, whether or not I can do it, and do the work just to do it. Without worry, performance goes up, and even if the first time I do it doesn’t go well… I have a foundation to work from, and it’s easier to work up from a shaky understanding than to stress over every detail. 


There are millions of other ways people motivate themselves, but it all boils down to the same basic message… Find a reason, just start, don’t overthink it. Experiment with things, try different environments, and most importantly keep going. Nothing is impossible, and with motivation, you’ve won half the battle. 


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