Motivation and Procrastination

Motivation and Procrastination

Studying requires persistent motivation and meeting goals. While the goals (or assessment deadlines) provide a reason to keep applying yourself, this takes effort and commitment in order to sustain it.

Sustained effort is required across the trimester in order to be really successful, and some tasks and units will take more effort than others. Factors such as health, stress levels, family commitments and support, and gaps in skills can cause a task to need high effort. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated. You can also check out the Approaching Your Studies page for more creative, unusual study suggestions.

Ten tips to assist your motivation for study:

  1. Big Picture: Think about why you are doing the course and how the topics you're learning will lead you to the career you want.
  2. Goal-setting: Set realistic goals that will help you manage your time, and keep you focused and on track.
  3. Question yourself: Spend some time familiarising yourself with the unit outcomes before you start. Ask yourself: what do I know already, what life experiences can I bring to this topic and what are the gaps in my understanding?
  4. Leave time for creativity: Create a timeline that allows you plenty of time to work on your assignments. If you start thinking about them early, then you will often find that ideas come to you overnight or when doing other things, making it easier to actually sit down and write the assignment.
  5. Make connections: As you learn, either in class or by reading, make connections and look for relationships between the theory and how it applies.  Try to apply what you’ve learned in one context to other contexts and real life situations.
  6. Tell a story: If you have a family member, patient or client in mind when you read and study, it can help you make connections with the information. Sometimes telling yourself a funny story about the information can make it more interesting and easier to remember.
  7. Vibrant notes: Rather than copy notes neatly, active learners read through and rework their notes. Look at notes you've downloaded or written and consider how you can add colour, arrows, diagrams and other memory triggers.
  8. It's not a novel: Academic texts are not meant to be read like a novel, but rather they should dissected and explored for pertinent information. Read with purpose and utilise a range of reading strategies (more on the Reading page). Don't just read from beginning to end or with the hope that an answer will appear.
  9. Be critical: Engage with the text you are reading by applying critical reading techniques: ask yourself questions to stimulate your thinking. This will assist you in understanding and retaining the information.
  10. Talk, talk, talk: When possible, discuss what you’ve learnt with others. Vocalising what has been learnt or read can help you see the relevance of what you're learning. 
  11. Feed-forward: Don’t just read your educator’s feedback, use it constructively to identify your strengths and areas that need development. Use it to make a plan for what you're going to do differently next time.