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My top tips for staying motivated with university work

By JadeM 14 Apr 2021

My name is Jade, and I am a second-year BA Fine art student at CSM and keeping or finding motivation for my studies seems to be a constant battle.



Sometimes I find myself really motivated and other times completely devoid of any motivation. It’s normally the latter, whether for schoolwork or even going on my daily walk. These are some things I try to remember when I’m feeling deflated with university work.  



1. The main thing I think about is ‘why?’ There was a reason I wanted to do this even if it’s only visible in the bigger picture. I might not want to do this assignment, but I do want to do this course. Sometimes it feels like our excitement or determination for something can be weighed down with external worries or fears so it’s good to step back and remember why we started our course. 

2. The tasks and workloads can definitely be quite overwhelming when viewed as a chunk. I try and break it down into next steps rather than a long detailed to do list which can feel never ending. It stops me thinking that it’s too much to achieve or setting myself unachievable goals that feel worse when I can’t reach them. 

3. When there is no motivation at all, I sit down and giving it all my attention for just 5 minutes at a time. If after 5 minutes, it still feels difficult I pause and try again later, but 90% of the time once 5 minutes is finished it doesn’t feel so daunting. Then I can keep going and do 5 minutes or 10 minutes more, and slowly build up the time while taking breaks in-between. 

4. I also think it’s important not to get frustrated ourselves when we feel unmotivated. It doesn’t mean that we are lazy. Working and studying from home is challenging for anyone and we can just keep taking steps forward. 

Remember that there is support available, whether it is your classmates, tutors, or academic support at university. Hopefully, some of these tips are useful and remember to be kind to yourself, because in case you have forgotten we are in a pandemic. You can’t work like normal if the world isn’t working as normal. 

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JadeM is a BA Fine Art student at Central Saint Martins, who loves all things plants and nature.
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