No matter how much you love your subject or degree I think pretty much everyone goes through periods, be it days, weeks or more, where they really struggle with a lack of motivation. I have found it hard to keep motivated throughout the final module of my degree, DD307 Social psychology: critical perspectives on self and others. This is mainly due to me not feeling as though I can fully engage with the module material for a number of reasons. I have also found that I enjoy many of the topics covered but unfortunately these don’t seem to be reflected in the TMA’s. I also struggled at the beginning of this module as I was also overlapping with DSE212: Exploring Psychology, and alongside this I was also in the middle of moving house which was taking up a lot of my time. I found that I ended up a little behind with the reading and struggled to catch back up which lead to a viscous circle of not wanting to pick the books up. Everyone is different and everyone studies differently which means what motivates me may not motivate you however I thought I would share with you what I try when I feel I am struggling.
Firstly I try and understand why I am feeling like the way I am – if it’s personal circumstances you may find that until these are under control you struggle with lack of motivation often throughout your studies so it is worth investing time in managing other areas of your life.
Something I didn’t do well at the beginning of my degree was utilising down time effectively. This is so important and I most definitely did not get enough down time, through my own choice, for the first few years of my degree. I have now learned that taking time to relax in the evening or having an extra hour in the morning before beginning work actually improves the quality of my work.
Remember why you started! This, in theory, is simple. I remind myself why I started my degree and then picture where I want to be.
Take a break, short breaks are always beneficial. I am at my most productive in the morning straight after I have been out for a walk with the dog.
Treat yourself to something you enjoy. I love stationary and although it is an unnecessary purchase, buying a new notebook, fancy pen or something else paper and pen related often gives me a burst of inspiration and makes me want to write. I also find that the odd take out Costa or Starbucks does a lot for motivation!
Keeping organised! For me personally, if I have all my book shelves organised, my notes filed, desk tidy etc. I produce work at a higher quality. I struggle when things are disorganised but I am also aware that this is something very personal.
For me though, the biggest way of getting my mojo back is through my voluntary work. I love criminology, psychology, substance misuse, the criminal justice system (the list goes on) and learning about it is fascinating but nothing beats getting involved and stuck in straight at the deep end. Whenever I come back from a days volunteering I always feel so motivated and full of new ideas. This is hands down the one thing which is guaranteed to pick me up when I feel as though I am struggling with study.
I would love to know what motivates you!