A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Lost motivation? Read this rather than stress about it!

Losing motivation happens to us all, whether it’s for your thesis, an essay, piece of group work, (or sometimes your degree choice). Here are four tips for regaining your motivation, or at least finding a work around to help you through.

  1. Check where your motivation went

Image result for person thinking clipartWhy have you lost motivation? Is it a compulsory module that you don’t feel much enthusiasm for? A piece of work you’ve been working on for a long time, such as your thesis? A class that you’re not feeling confident in? Examining why you’ve lost motivation can be useful for trying to work out how to regain it. In some cases (especially if you’re feeling it for specific modules or for everything) it might be worth speaking to your supervisor or a lecturer you like to get some help or advice on how to cope!

  1. Try a different study technique

If just sitting at your desk and staring at an empty word document isn’t working, try a different technique! Mind mapping can be a useful way to get creative and get some fresh ideas, or try pomodoro to ease yourself into the flow. Setting up a study group can also be a good way to add some social support to your studying time, which can help motivation- just make sure not to get distracted! Otherwise, small rewards for an amount of work can also help, whether it’s a hot chocolate, a snack, or an episode of TV.

  1. Get some fresh air

This doesn’t necessarily mean going outside (thought I do recommend it!), but instead, it means clearing your mind from the task you’re stuck on. Do your laundry, go for a walk (spot some cute cats!), cook a nice dinner or do some yoga. Sometimes giving your brain a break can help you regain some motivation, and it’s also essential for your well-being.

Image result for clouds sun clipart

  1. Move the goal posts

Sometimes, a task just needs to be done. It doesn’t need to be perfect, or inspiring, or the best piece of work you’ve ever made. I often find myself losing motivation when a piece of work doesn’t reach my normal standards- but actually, there’s only so much work you can do, and unattainable standards are just that! Unattainable! Make sure the essay is complete, has no grammar errors, and makes sense (and answers the question to the best of your ability at the time) and hand it in!

“Trade perfect for done” is probably the best advice I’ve received during my Masters.

Everyone loses motivation at times, try not to let it get to you, and I hope these tips help a little! If you have a good trick for finding your motivation again, share it in the comments!

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