Keeping Motivated & Managing Procrastination

Studying requires persistent activity and a focus on meeting goals. Whilst the goals (or assessment deadlines) provide a reason to keep applying yourself, this often takes substantial effort and commitment in order to achieve your goals.

High effort levels are required on difficult tasks and sustained effort is required across the trimester in order to be really successful. Effort levels can be different for individuals at different times, and factors such as one's health, stress levels or gaps in skills can sometimes mean that a task will require more effort than at other times. However, choice and persistence are two of the main variables that affect motivation.

Ten tips to boost your motivation for study:

1. Set your time management goals to help keep you motivated, focused, and on track.

2. At the beginning of term familiarise yourself with each of your Unit assignments, and when they are due. Set yourself a time line as to when you will work on them.

3. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the Unit outcomes before you start. Ask yourself what you already know about a topic, what life experiences you can bring to the topic, and what are the gaps in your understanding.

4. As you learn, either in class or by reading, make connections and look for relationships between the theory and how it applies to your wider studies. Try to apply what you have learned in one context to other contexts and real life situations.

5. Rather than copy notes neatly, active learners read through and rework their notes. Look at what you have written and consider how you can make them clearer.

6. Read with purpose and utilise a range of reading strategies. Don't just read with the hope that an answer will appear. Use basic reading strategies such as skimming, scanning, and reading for detail. Academic texts are not meant to be read like a novel, but rather dissected and explored for pertinent information.

7. When you come across a passage that will be useful for your study, re-read it a couple of times, then close your book and make notes in your own words (don’t forget to make a note of the text and page number for referencing purposes).

8. 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.

9. When possible discuss what you have learned with others. Vocalising what has been learned or read will help you think through your ideas. This is particularly useful if you are a kinaesthetic learner.

10. Don’t just read your teacher’s feedback, use it constructively to identify your strengths and areas that need development.

Motivated learners are active learners.