Perhaps it is just that time of the school year. You should be gearing up for that final project or deep in the throws of your research paper, but you just cannot find any motivation. No matter the age or level in academics there is a universal struggle… motivation. Some students struggle with motivation consistently while some may go through “phases”. Either way, there are some helpful behaviors and thoughts that can help boost academic motivation to get you across the finish line with confidence this school year.

There is power in your thoughts.

Take a moment to check in with the thoughts that go through your head. We now have scientific evidence that proves that there is an increase in success in various aspects of one’s life if you can master the art of positive thinking. This concept can easily be applied to academic motivation. First and foremost catch yourself if your in the habit of negative thoughts like “I am not smart enough”, “this project is going to be the hardest” or even “I will never get this done”. The concept of self belief or self efficacy is key! You can do this. Remind yourself of your successes in the past. Look for evidence that you will succeed.

What motivates you?

There is a huge difference between internal and external motivation, especially academically. For example, if you are doing the project well because you have to keep up your grades versus doing the project well because you want to learn about the topic. Internal motivation far exceeds external motivation. Try to connect your assignments with the value of the knowledge you are learning. If the topic at hand doesn’t seem relevant to your future, focus on the skills you are gaining and how it will benefit your future. Try to connect this project to a real-world situation. For example, even if you don’t see the value in the subject matter, you can see the value in practicing public speaking and preparing a project for others if you have a desire to work in management or education in the future.

Stay Organised.

The phrase “fake it until you make it” may apply in this scenario. Usually, when motivation decreases things get neglected or procrastination sets in. Counterbalance this with extra organisation. Break large projects into parts and set “due dates” for yourself, like finish your rough draft two weeks prior. The behavior of organising and prioritising will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and can provide motivation. Even though the feelings of motivation may not be there, treating every test and project with organisation can help you start to possibility change those feelings of procrastination to motivation.

Sometimes there can be outside factors that impact academic struggles. Perhaps you feel like you just don’t learn as efficiently as your peers? It may be worthwhile to look into a psychologist or other academic supports to rule out learning disabilities that may be causing you academic distress. Other outside factors can be issues in your personal life like grief, anxiety, or depression. If you fear that these other factors may be influencing your academic motivation, feel free to book in a time to speak to a psychologist to talk about these strategies to boost academic motivation or to talk about personal issues that may be impacting you academic performance. You can book in a time to speak to a psychologist call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online.

Related reading:

Pitfalls in the Classroom
Procrastination: Your Perfectionism may be the Problem
Common Traits of Adult ADHD