My Tips for Getting in the Right Mindset to Work

Updated: Mar 21

By Emily studies stem

When I did the Myers Brigg 16 personalities test, one of the questions it asked really stood out to me: Are you more in control of your emotions or are they more in control of you? And particularly this question made me reflect on how this relationship between ourselves and our emotions is a factor when we do our most productive work. Although this measure is on a continuum, so you may not be completely one way or the other, I’m going to split this post into focusing on the two extremes, but note that advice from both may apply to you and hopefully be useful!


If you guide your emotions:

If you feel you can control your emotions, then I will try and sum up some things you can do to guide your emotions to enter that productive mindset. First, start by having some inspiring or generally happy thoughts. This could be thinking of your motivation to get this studying done, your goals, or how pretty your notes will look when you're done studying! Try and make sure your motivation for studying is in a positive tone, rather than thinking ‘I have to study so I won’t fail...I have to study to please my parents...I have to study so I’m the best in the class’, switch your language and reasons: ‘I’d like to expand my knowledge in this topic so I’ll study... I’d like to discuss something I’ve learned with friends or family, so I’ll study!’ Next, set up a good place to work. This doesn’t need to be a ‘Pinterest’ worthy desk, just ensure you are in a relatively clean, quiet space, and take out some of your previous notes as inspiration and to really set the mood that this is a time for focus.


If your emotions guide you more:

If this is you, then you’re in a good place when you’re in a good, productive mood, since there’s no need for a long setup and you should feel ready to start working! If you think it’s an odd time to study, it doesn’t hurt to just put aside 30 minutes making the most of your mood! In the case that you’re not feeling entirely positive, it could be a sign your body is telling you to take a break. When you feel like this, make sure you take this time to reflect on how you’re feeling, perhaps meditate, and try not to feel ‘guilty’ for not feeling like doing work, as this will only worsen the low mood. One thing I do when I know I’m feeling down, but still need to work, is put on a 40 minute timer. I use the ‘forest’ app on my phone so I’m strict on myself with working and I just try to work for these 40 minutes. Sometimes I don’t feel any better after getting some work done, and then I take a rest, but other times this kickstarts my inspiration and makes me remember my goals and to keep working, especially if I’m really hard on myself in this 40 minutes! Either way, you’ll have got some work done that day and when you reflect on that later, that’s something to be proud of.


Thank you so much for reading, I hope some of these productivity tips have been useful, and enjoy studying!


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