Is your summer filled with research and writing rather than relaxing? Motivation for a long-term project can be challenging to maintain, especially when campus has gone quiet and it feels like everyone else in on a break. So we’ve put together our top tips on keeping motivated when writing your dissertation.
Write something every (work)day
On the days when you plan to work, aim to write a set number of words a day without fail. Giving yourself this target will do wonders to keep yourself motivated, slowly seeing yourself finishing up section after section while nearing the word count will give you an immense sense of progress. You can always go back and edit, but getting the words down is often the hardest part.
Plan your working hours throughout the day
Doing a 10 hour shift without any objective may seem like a productive session because of all the hours you’ve done but in reality it isn’t. Instead, work out what you want to achieve each day and break your day down into sessions. Give yourself a time in which you’ll get a certain task done. Depending what you want to achieve that day you might have one session, or you might have three if you’re really busy.
Forcing yourself to work in designated time slots with specific aims will help you be more productive (and give you time to do other things too).
Take a proper break/ do other things
Taking a break could be the best thing to get your motivation back, but while we’re still in lockdown it can be hard to separate your work life with home life. Try taking a walk outside if the weather is nice, socially-distance meet your friends in the park, or switch off and enjoy some well-deserved Netflix – you won’t regret it and you’ll feel even more recharged for your next bit of work.
Find study partners
In many cases, having a study partner(s) will keep you motivated and accountable to each other to keep going. Additionally, having someone else read your work could help identify any mistakes you missed.
Partnering up with someone who is committed as you will also make your study sessions go faster, and you can do it virtually or socially-distanced – whichever is easiest!
Create a progress chart
One of the most demotivating things is the feeling of putting the hard work in without seeing any return.
By tracking your efforts, the progress chart will remind you of where you are doing well and where you need to focus more. It could be a visual reminder that you are moving in the right direction. Do this however suits you – tick off a to do list, something bright and colourful – whatever will make you feel that sense of achievement as you progress.
However, it is important to track it daily if it’s going to help you!