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Motivation and Productivity

It is inevitable that your motivation will fluctuate as you work on the thesis. Despite this variability in motivation, it will be important that you develop a plan that allows you to work consistently on the thesis in order to meet your long-term goals. Therefore, it will be necessary to have strategies for working that are not entirely dependent on motivation.

You are in charge of your motivation. Therefore, you need a variety of strategies for managing motivation over the course of a long-term project like the thesis.  Be creative.  Be persistent.  Try new things.

  • Move your workspace to a coffee shop or library if it has become difficult to work alone.
  • Spend time with colleagues, family, and friends who provide support and encouragement.
  • Find a balance between thesis-related work and personal life.
  • Prioritize activities that increase your energy and enthusiasm, including sleep.
  • Be aware of how self-doubt and uncertainty affects your motivation, and challenge yourself to work through these issues rather than avoid them.
  • Identify something that will motivate you to work on the dissertation even on days when you aren’t feeling inspired by the project.
  • Establish a routine that allows you to work consistently irrespective of how motivated you feel on a particular day.
  • Consider ways that your motivation will increase as you make progress on the dissertation.
  • Shift your work to less challenging parts of the thesis whenever you are struggling with motivation.
  • Establish specific, realistic goals and reward yourself (e.g, take the weekend off) whenever you accomplish them.
  • Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment as you make progress.
  • Create links between the thesis and future professional goals.
  • Focus on ways that your research will make a meaningful contribution to your field.
  • Anticipate the future and the opportunity to pursue other professional goals.