I’m dealing with finals for school right now and am trying a new way to keep myself motivated. Maybe this would work for you too!
I try to find different ways to turn tasks into a game to keep things fun and help with motivation. This includes checklists and bar graphs, like I mentioned in another post. An awesome app for the iPhone is EpicWin (check them out!) But I’ve also added a further element to the fun.
A jigsaw puzzle. What I did was print out a picture (this time around, it was one of Teppei Koike – I mean he does have one of the best motivational videos ever…). I flipped the picture over, drew dividing lines on the back, and cut the picture into pieces. The number of pieces equals the number of tasks I need to finish (for this case, the number of readings I need to do for a final exam). I put these aside, and every time I finish a task, I award myself one of the pieces of the puzzle at random. The puzzle itself isn’t that difficult, but this way, instead of just writing check marks or filling in a progress bar, I’m actually piecing together a picture, which is much more gratifying.
I’m surprised by just how much this has been helping me. It might be the fact that I personally love jigsaw puzzles, so this may not work for everyone. I definitely plan to use this kind of thing next semester for my new courses, and this can also be used for things like Japanese study (or just about anything!).
I love coming up with fun activities like this to track progress on various tasks, and over the break I’d like to develop some kind of new fun system for next semester’s classes. I really like the jigsaw puzzle thing, but I also love things like treasure hunts and whatnot, and I’m trying to think of ways to incorporate that. I feel like I’m turning into a kid again, but hey, fun gets things done!
I realize that the methods used to accomplish tasks probably shouldn’t take more time/effort than the tasks themselves… I’m trying not to go overboard, but just come up with new ideas every once in a while and implement them in the most efficient way possible. If you guys have any fun ways to keep yourself motivated, let me know!