With the assessment plan still being unclear, many students are struggling to find the motivation to study especially with the ease of access to technology and the lack of clarity for the future. The tips below are designed to help students reduce procrastination and find the motivation for both long term and short term study:
Understand why you Procrastinate
If you find yourself procrastinating you are not alone! Piers Steel one of the leading researchers on motivation and procrastination states that up to 95% of us procrastinate to a certain extent. The terms procrastination and laziness are often interchanged. However, they have different meanings and connotations. Procrastination is a more active form of distraction where you choose to do a different task or activity. Whereas, laziness is an unwillingness to act and complete work.
There are numerous reasons why students are feeling unmotivated including the following:
- Feeling like your work is beyond your abilities
- Feeling bored and uninspired with your subject
- Waiting for the right time to complete the work
- Feeling overwhelmed with the growing scale of tasks
- Finding it difficult to prioritise your tasks
- Feeling burnt out and fatigued
Methods to stay Motivated
- Break it Down
It can feel overwhelming looking at a textbook or course handbook not knowing where to start. Therefore, it is recommended that students break these tasks into manageable blocks and set realistic daily targets that they want to meet. Students will have to identify themselves what they believe a manageable block for them is. It is highly subjective to the individual, whether this may be a couple of pages in a textbook, reading, some revision cards, or a single mind map. Once students have completed a task they should reward themselves with a short and enjoyable break.
- Understand Your Needs – Don’t expect to feel motivated all the time
It is important for students to not feel the need to be motivated all the time. Everyone experiences fatigue and burnout. If this occurs students should take a moment for themselves and do what they think is manageable for them. Overextending yourself can result in worsening fatigue and making the revision and work less effective.
If you need to get the work done in time for a deadline, it may be worth working in a group. Students often find working in a group motivational but there are certain aspects to take into account. We would recommend the groups to have no more than four students and have the desire to learn and do well with their studies. Working in groups enables students to keep one another accountable and offers an outlet to ask any questions judgement free. As the current restrictions don’t allow students to meet up, it may be an idea to set up a virtual study group utilising zoom or Microsoft Teams.
- Identify Gaps in Your Knowledge
A key part of developing study skills is understanding what you already know and understand, to enable you to focus on the gaps in your knowledge. If you are struggling to effectively identify the gaps in your knowledge it may be beneficial to consider utilising a tutor to assist in learning efficiently.
Remind yourself that study is a short-term cost for a long-term benefit, not only academically speaking but for student’s mental health and overall wellbeing.