2019 is well underway and, for many, this is when the hard work really starts, as third-year dissertations get underway. Right on cue, an inevitable dip in motivation often accompanies the build-up of assignments. Fortunately, we have some tips to help your productivity and motivation, to help you achieve your best in your degree.
Knowing what you want to achieve can help to improve your focus. Aim towards a specific number of words, or equivalent, per day, and you may find that the work becomes more manageable. Additionally, each time you achieve a goal, you’ll get a sense of achievement, which will further motivate you to keep up the hard work and finish the overall target.
Break it down
Start small and don’t overload yourself. Unrealistic expectations are not going to help and will only get you down, leading to a lack of motivation. Limit yourself to a maximum of seven items on your to do list, and make sure that they are achievable. If you have a 3,000 word essay to complete, figure out the rough word counts for each paragraph, and then tackle it – it might seem a lot more manageable than a daunting 3,000 word chunk.
Make it fun and try to enjoy yourself where possible. If you’ve a piece of reading to get though, maybe treat yourself to a square of chocolate every time you turn a new page, or if you’re writing an essay, have a sweet after each 500 words. Try the Pomodoro Technique – work for 25 minutes, have a five minute break, and repeat four times to earn a 30 minute break. Small rewards along the way may help to motivate you, as well as one big reward at the end. If you like to work towards something more than that feeling of satisfaction, why not tell yourself that you can buy that pair of shoes or binge on that series after you’ve finished, and only after you’ve finished?
Look at the bigger picture
Whilst keeping your immediate goals small is a great idea, keeping in mind the wider context is essential. Equally, remember that the time you’re sacrificing now is incredibly minor in the grand scheme of things – getting it done without delay will reduce any stress and will give you so much more time to go out and enjoy yourself.
Recognise your good work! Allow yourself to feel happy and proud of your achievements, and remember that feeling next time you’re faced with a daunting piece of work – you’re the only one responsible for your feeling of achievement, so work hard and get it!