I hate exams and I hate assignments. It's a wonder that I've managed to do six consecutive years in university now! I'm currently gearing up to finish the college-based part of my Msc and I'm desperately trying to rescue my grade up to an acceptable level.
I've set up my desk with everything I need: Laptop, pens, paper, water, coke zero etc...
I find one way to motivate myself is to have all my deadlines visually represented in front of me. It's a lot easier to get scared of an upcoming assignment due date if I can see it on a calendar rather than thinking "Oh, I've got five more days before I need to start that!".
'To Do' lists are always a great help also! This is my to do list for the next few weeks in general.
|My Calendar with Deadlines Marked and To Do List|
I also like to 'drill down' into my to do list to make it more attainable. For example, I also have a daily to do list. I find that it's very motivational to see things being checked off your list so I always add a few things that I know I'll definitely get done, such as have a shower! It makes me feel better!
Also if I have a very large job I'll break it down into parts. I've done this with some videos on Backbone.js that I need to watch, There are four of them and each one is at least half an hour long. By ticking off each one as I got it motivates me to tick off the whole assignment on my daily to do list!