With summer just around the corner, it can be difficult to find the motivation to finish an essay, complete a research project or submit a CV. The weather is good and everyone else seems to be on holiday. Have you lost your mojo? How can you overcome it? Psychology Today defines motivation as: “the desire to do things”. There is certainly no end to the amount of advice and opinion in the WebSphere, ranging from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs [which explains why humans do anything], to everyday blog posts, like this one.
Five small steps to success
Establish a goal and write it down
Say you need to finish a dissertation; the deadline is looming but you just can’t seem to get started. First, write down your goal: I will finish writing my dissertation and submit it by Friday. Stick your note somewhere you can see it – to your screen, your fridge or bathroom mirror.
Think about how you will feel when you have achieved this: imagine clicking ‘send’ on the submission email, you feel a sense of relief – mission accomplished, and you can now enjoy the weekend, no pressure.
Break the task down into small steps
Create a plan and chart your progress – make a physical list and tick off each completed step. Make a list of each step you need to take to complete the work: do you need to do any further research? Read some chapters of a book? Draw up an outline of the dissertation? How many words do you need to write? How many sections or chapters? Make a list and tick off each step as you complete it.
Get some support
Are any of your friends also struggling to finish their coursework? Can you get together to bounce ideas or give each other encouragement? Consider joining a group on social media that provides support and encouragement – posting daily progress updates can kick-start the creative juices.
Reward yourself for each step achieved – chocolate helps!
Finally, plan a special reward, perhaps a special evening out to celebrate completion, or a Snickers bar* for every 500 words.
*substitute with your favourite chocolate (or healthy snack!)