Oct. 26, 2020

How to work when you don’t want to

Motivation is a hot topic among post-secondary students. I have heard many students say things like, “I know what I need to do, but I just cannot motivate myself to do it!” If this sounds like you sometimes, then this blog post could be of use to you!
students studying
students studying

Tip #1: Determine what is important to you.

Why did you enrol in university in the first place? What are your long-term goals? Short-term goals? It could be helpful to spend some time reflecting on what is important to you, so that you can generate some meaningful reasons for getting to work. Perhaps write these reasons down and look at them any time you feel like your motivation is dwindling. If you would like help clarifying these reasons, you can always see an advisor too!


Tip #2: Recognize that action leads to motivation (not the other way around).

If we wait until we feel motivated to take action, we may be waiting a long time. Taking action can feel empowering, which will lead to motivation (and then more action). Start small if you need to. Sometimes taking the first step is the most difficult part of a journey. Try the 5 Minute Rule: tell yourself that you only need to work on a task for 5 minutes, and then you can quit. Chances are – after the 5-minute period, you will be motivated to keep going!


Tip #3: Take a break when you need to.

Sometimes it really is time for a break. Self-care is necessary for optimal performance and maintenance of motivation. When we take good care of ourselves, we can prevent burn-out and reduce stress. Find self-care strategies that work for you, such as going to the gym or spending time in nature. Once you feel recharged you can get back to work. The trick is finding an appropriate balance between self-care and working!


To register for a workshop on motivation, visit the Student Wellness Services website.