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Managing Time

Motivation 

Benefits of increased motivation include increased persistence, better engagement with your courses, improved critical thinking skills, and a greater ability to accomplish goals in all areas of life.

When you get discouraged or demotivated, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why am I doing this task? 
  • Is it because I want to (intrinsic motivation) or because I’m seeking a reward (like a good grade) or seeking to avoid a punishment (like failing a course) (extrinsic motivation)? 
  • How much do I value this task? If it has a low value, how could I increase its worth? 
  • What value does this task have in relation to my long-term goals? 
  1. What do I need to complete this task? 
  • If you need help with writing, math, time management, etc., remember that there are services on campus that can help. 
  • Avoid blaming either yourself or others; instead, work to develop habits that will help you stay energized, focused, and able to adjust to challenging situations. 
  1. Am I in control of my work? 
  • Use SMART goals, calendars, to-do lists, etc. to organize your work. 
  • Break your work into smaller tasks and start with the easiest. 
  1. Why am I struggling with motivation? 
  • Am I procrastinating? Understand what causes procrastination in order to overcome it. 
  • Do I need to re-evaluate my goals? Always make sure your goals are measurable. 
  • Do I need support? Connect with campus services and/or peers who can hold you accountable. 
  1. Am I expecting perfection?
  • Failure is normal! Remember that it’s not about how “smart” you are but about knowledge, effort, and strategies, all of which you can control and change. 
  1. Have I given myself any rewards? 
  • Remember that rewards work best for small, clearly-defined tasks. 
  • Create a balance between work accomplished and how you reward yourself for it. 

Remember, motivation isn’t something some people are born with; it’s a skill everyone can learn!

 

Improve your writing and study skills! Book an appointment with a writing advisor and/or academic coach on OSCARplus.  Questions? Email skills@mcmaster.ca

References 

Study skills—motivation. (n. d.). uOttawa. Retrieved May 22, 2020, from https://sass.uottawa.ca/en/mentoring/tools/motivation 

LSA Newnan Academic Advising Center. (n. d.). Strategies for success: Staying motivated. University of Michigan. Retrieved May 22, 2020, from https://mcgill.ca/counselling/files/counselling/staying_motivated.pdf 

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