Forum: Advice / Girls & Guys

Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By Caulfieldmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 16, 2011 08:41 AM

I'm not sure if this is the best section in which to post this topic - if it's not, mods, feel free to move it. :)

Anyway, I'm working my first full-time job as a summer student. I've been at it about a month and a half, and it's one of the first jobs I honestly don't mind (despite the combination of legally still being a teenager at 19 and having to get up at 5:30...yuck, LOL). However, it's your standard sedentary desk job, and coming into the job, I may have underestimated how draining it is to sit at a computer all day. By the time 4:30 rolls around, I literally go home and crash on my bed, completely void of any motivation to do anything but vegetate.

Problem is, I'm taking a online class this summer to lighten my workload for the upcoming fall semester. Normally I enjoy schoolwork and have no problem getting myself going on it, but since starting this job, I've gotten waaaaay behind. I've having a tough time coming home and being all "KAY SCHOOLWORK STUDYING ASSIGNMENTS YAY." I try to at least do some reading a few times a week, but my efforts are uncharacteristically short-lived. I've got another two months or so before this class ends so I have plenty of time to catch up...if only I could kick my ass in gear!

I guess I'm asking for personal experience - how do you guys keep yourselves motivated to go-go-go, especially after a long work day? I'm normally a very determined person, but even with exercising in the morning and trying to eat well throughout the day, I'm a sluggish wreck after work. Any advice would be awesome!

8 Replies to Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?

re: Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 16, 2011 01:25 PM
I don't usually have big things going on after I get home from work, but I also don't crash when I get home because I still need to make dinner, clean up around the apartment, walk the dogs, work on stuff for my wedding, etc. I work out AFTER I get home from work. That picks up my energy like nothing else, no matter how tired I feel before I work out. Even if you don't have time for a full workout, just talking a brisk walk around the block will probably help you. Then after I come home and shower, I make dinner and eat, so that also helps give me some energy. Lately I've been limiting myself to one TV show a day, because I know if I turn on the TV and sit down, I will probably just sit there for the rest of the night. I also avoid websites that I know I will spend too much time on if I start (like DDN, for example :)). And if I need to do something I REALLY don't feel like doing, I usually promise myself a reward after I get some of it done. Like, maybe I'll let myself read a chapter of whatever book I've been reading after I finish folding all my laundry. Then maybe I'll read another chapter after I put it all away. So maybe you could do something like that to reward yourself for getting a certain amount of studying done.

Not too terribly long ago, I was studying to become a personal trainer (which I ended up not doing, but that's a different story), and there was a ton of reading and studying involved. About the only thing I could do to make myself get it done was to just sit down and do it and tell myself that once it was done, I would not make myself do anything else for the rest of the night. But obviously that depends on not having anything else that NEEDS to get done for the rest of the night.
re: Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:03 PM
1) Iron supplements (usually)
2) Re-jig your waking hours.

I can only stuff information into my head when I'm fresh, whereas I can work mindlessly at a desk job regardless of how tired I am. What I'd do is to start waking up at ridiculous hours to get in several hour's of study before work, then work. You'll have to start sleeping/waking much earlier, but this way you'll actually be able to get stuff done. Not much point trying to study after work because you'll be too tired, as you've already pointed out.

Smashing out as much as you can over weekends is also a good idea.
re: Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By Caulfieldmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jun 24, 2011 09:16 AM
Thanks guys! I started taking a multivitamin a few days ago, and already I'm starting to feel more energetic throughout the day. That, coupled with my lunchtime naps at work (they have couches and everything...it's a beautiful thing), has helped quite a bit. So at least now I'm not going home in a zombie-like trance, which is always a good thing.

I'm still working on the motivation, though. After an 8.5 hour work day, homework just doesn't SOUND appealing. I know, I know, I just have to get over it, but I'll try setting myself up a reward system. Hopefully I can find something that will keep me motivated. :P

Again, thanks!
re: Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By RawwrrBekiiChampmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:55 AM
Glad to hear your feeling more energetic now :P I was going to say if you get any chance for a quick 'power' nap I'd definately recommend doing it :P When I was up at 6am for college and then after college working until 10pm I was always exhausted but if I had a quick nap I always felt wide awake afterwards :)
Although I have heard not to nap longer than 20 minutes because otherwise it is hard to wake up and you end up feeling worse and groggy (I'm guessing because you've fallen into a deeper stage of sleep but I don't know exactly)

As for the motivation, that's something I struggle with too :( Maybe just do your homework for short periods at a time like 20 minutes and then have a break and then go back to it, it's just a little something my teachers suggested for revision tips so maybe it will work for homework etc too

Hope you find something that works for you :)
Love Bekii xxxx
re: Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By Coccinellamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:18 PM
It's all about food for me. I'm a frequent eater of small meals, so if I don't have food accessible to me I'm a bit of a mess mentally/physically, etc. I think for most people, eating a big midday meal is where they go wrong. Pairing a full stomach with the start of the afternoon Circadian rhythm is a recipe for lethargy, in my opinion. Eating lighter, balanced meals is my recipe for success. Also, drink tons of water. I can tell when my concentration is waining for no good reason it's because I either need a little blood sugar boost or a big glass of cold water.

If your lunch break (or coffee break or whatever you get) is long enough, try to get some fresh air as well. A short walk can do wonders.
re: Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jul 08, 2011 03:23 PM
I always try to go for a walk in the mid-afternoon. I work in a desk job too, and at about 2:30/3pm, I walk to the shop for a banana or something just to freshen me up a bit, and then I usually exercise for an hour as soon as I get home (at 6pm). I actually REALLY look forward to my evening workouts, so that keeps me going for the last hour of work. I mean, I don't have homework to do after that, but getting out in the fresh air makes me feel a TON more awake.
re: Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Sat Jul 09, 2011 01:23 AM
Ooh, good point about the fresh air. I forgot to mention that I also like to "rotate" every 2-3 hours (either subject, or physical study location).

I know my psychology textbook goes on and on about how "routine" is really important for study... but I oersonally find that if you're doing serious long-haul study, plugging away in the same space for almost all your waking hours is akin to death. And if you can still see the woodgrain pattern of your desk in your sleep, you know you've gone to far. *nods*
re: Maintaining energy and motivation during a long day?
By Shnaynaymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jul 09, 2011 07:08 AM
Coffee, coffee, coffee. Coffee when I wake up, coffee on the way to work, coffee on my break ... it's necessary. And a lot of water in between, because we all know that as great as coffee is, it dehydrates you and supposedly causes you to "crash".

Your job sounds pretty tedious and boring (in my opinion) and that could be what's causing you to burn out so quickly. If you had the chance to find a more stimulating job, would you? Or do you love working at a desk?

I teach pre-school, so although the days are long and the work is NOT easy (it is a complete misconception that pre-school teachers go to work and play all day and take a nap at nap time) there still is an element of play to my work - I enjoy going outside and rolling around in the grass with the kids, and getting some sunshine in my life. That pretty much sustains me throughout the work day (though it's much, much harder in the winter).

Can you listen to music at work? Listening to upbeat, motivating music might be helpful. While enjoying a cup of coffee :)

What about working out? What if, instead of crashing when you come home, you do something enjoyable outside, like go for a walk/run, or spend some time at the park, or even go to the gym, if that's what you prefer? A little "me" time that counters the monotony of your work day could be all you need to perk you up in the afternoon.

As far as school goes, I hear you on that one. I'm a full-time student and a full-time teacher, and it's SO FREAKING STRESSFUL, I don't know how I haven't ripped my hair out already. Have you considered switching to part-time hours at work while you're in school? I thought I could handle everything, but I intend to take two days off from work next semester, use those as my school days, and use the other three as my work days - sure, I'll make less money, but when you're stressed to the max with work and school already, and you have no time to enjoy the money you're making and your quality of life is low, it doesn't matter.

You're young and you need to take it easy, sweetie. I don't know how you feel about the balance, but I consider school more important than work in the grand scheme of things - school is what's going to get you to the job you want, and to the level of life satisfaction that you want MORE SO than working long hours at a job just for a little pay check. You're at the perfect time in your life to work part time and do as much school as you can, and if I were you, that's what I'd be doing, if at all possible.

If not ... coffee, coffee, coffee.

peace out
sh'naynay

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