Hand writing on post it note

How do I stay motivated?

Motivation: a term often recycled in discussions of how best to go about reaching your full potential. But how do you actually stay motivated when there are so many plates spinning at once?

1. The Right Mindset

As is true of so many things, the right frame of mind is important when you’re trying to stay driven. This doesn’t always have to be a thought process of unbelievable positivity. Let’s be honest, sometimes that just really isn’t possible. But if you can maintain a little optimism throughout your work process, it can go a really long way to keeping your head in the game.

2. Goals


We all have goals of what we want our work to achieve, it’s inevitable when you care about what you’re doing. A grand end-goal is nothing to be sniffed at, and it can go a long way to keeping that optimism we spoke about earlier.

But, more important than that are smaller, easily achievable goals. We all work differently, and have different challenges, so these targets will be different for each of us. For some people, a great small objective might be finishing a certain amount of words of an essay. For others, it might be getting out of bed. Either way, small goals can help to keep you feeling successful and happy to carry on working hard.

3. Reward Yourself

Taking some time out to reward yourself for a job well done can give you some needed time to reflect on your work and why you started it in the first place. And, if you have trouble starting projects, it gives a great reason to get going on that all-important assignment.

4. Recognise Your Success

If you’re anything like me, you’ll get in the habit of always feeling as though you should be doing better. This kind of thinking can be helpful, enabling you to reach your full potential and produce quality work. However, it can also put a damper on how motivated you feel to keep going.

Next time you are in the middle of a project, take ten minutes to recognise something you really like about what you’ve done so far. It doesn’t matter if it’s tiny, it can be anything. If you recognise that you’re doing well, and you are pleased with some of what you have achieved, you’re far more likely to want to keep going.

5. Relax

Staying motivated to study doesn’t actually mean studying all the time. In fact, if you don’t take a break you may find that you burn out before the project is even done. Spending some time relaxing can really give you some perspective on the work you are in the middle of and re-invigorate your interest in the first place.

So, get a good nights sleep, take the time to go and eat something, and spend some time with your friends (time permitting, of course). Your project and your mental health will thank you for it.

This article is featured on Learning at Lincoln. 

Please note: This content was created prior to Coronavirus, and some things might be different due to current laws and restrictions. Please refer to the University of Lincoln for the latest information.

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