Staying Organized and Motivated as a University of Toronto Student

Make 2020 your year to stay motivated and organized! There will always be something on your list of work to complete, especially as a student at the University of Toronto. Tasks can range from simple to strenuous, and the volume of them can create a sense of bombardment. There is no such thing as a day off! In this article, we will address important advice on staying organized and motivated. So you can start putting it into action today!

Photo by Olena Sergienko via Unsplash

It is important to have a goal, even if it’s a small one.

This can be applied to your course work, your career, your health, and more. Drifting without an aim through your university experience can be wasteful and saddening. You must put the effort in, even if it’s a dreadful assignment. For example, think about essay writing or the technicalities of courses you’ll take each semester. Often, students are concerned by their workload. So be sure to visit a learning strategist at “Semester Planning” sessions (visit here for schedules and dates). This only takes an hour and you may find it useful enough to attend further sessions! Utilize the available workshops to stay motivated.

You must organize your efforts around something and use your time wisely.

Maybe you have a goal: use at least one hour daily to read or write. Visit the University of Toronto bookstore or one of the school’s many libraries. Or maybe you’re looking for something bigger like ways to organize your career goals and educational facets.

Utilize the resources on the Career Learning Network. All you need is your UTORid to log on. Attending sessions on optimizing career profiles can assist immensely in the learning process, and the platform offers a lot of guidance. You will greatly benefit from spending your time here. So no matter how small the goal is, make sure you think about what it means to you. Give it meaning and begin working on it now.

Keep in mind that having too many goals at once can be just as bad as having no goals at all.

Your direction will be more important than the speed at which you complete your goals. Therefore, consider which direction each goal will take you. Will your approach help in a constructive way? Or are you taking a shortcut that will not help in the long run? The University of Toronto has various resources available to you, the first being the goal setting techniques available here. This is just the beginning of your process, so be sure to acknowledge the SMART goals section as you develop an approach.

go up and never stop neon sign
Photo by Fab Lentz via Unsplash

Understand the knowledge behind wanting to do your best in all areas while trying your best to not overcomplicate everything.

For example: are you falling behind in one course? Are you only focusing on the ones that you are doing well in? Maybe you have other goals that are prioritized over that one course, but this is still stressing you out and might be interfering with your overall motivation. Sometimes, it’s the daunting task of keeping up with course content that’s stressful. Be sure to attend one of these good sessions at the University of Toronto called “Critical Thinking, Reading, and Note Taking” in the upcoming months.

I found that when my notes were better structured (I have a habit of writing too much), I was able to decide what information was important. And what was not. This will help you stay focused during class and improve your willingness to complete readings.

Keep track of what needs to be done and set realistic goals.

If something is standing out, address it as soon as possible. Start working on it! This will make you feel better and, hopefully, let you focus on other things.

Who do you surround yourself with?

Pessimistic people often say things like “this will not work” “that is not good” or “why even try?” If you encounter pessimistic people often in group assignments, etc., then chances are you will begin to think as they do. They will procrastinate and then continue to complain. So stay away from that! Surround yourself with optimism and stick to wholesome assignment planning. Check out the session called “Assignment Planning” hosted by the Academic Success Centre. Organize and motivate yourself around an optimistic point of view. And ask questions! These sessions can help you effectively structure your work into coherent, realistic amounts to focus on until the assignment is complete!

Motivation arises from your desires and aspirations.

Do not force yourself to become something fake. This may create an abundance of stress and regret. Become the best version of who you want to be. Countless students are fighting their own personal and external stresses. But the one thing they have is a choice. You can approach your stresses and be motivated through it all. It is recommended that you attend one of the University of Toronto’s sessions on “Procrastination and Motivation” to understand the widespread causes and consequences of procrastination on your motivation. Remember that your goals require discipline, which you must learn as a lifelong skill. You have absolute control over your actions. Taking action will ultimately boost your motivation.

Best of luck and have a great year of achieving and believing! You have everything you need to stay motivated and organized this year!

Published on February 1, 2020

About Campus Guides Team

Our student-written campus guides help students who want to get a sense of what life at their new school and city will really be like by avoiding embellishment and focusing on what actual students think.