As I am sitting here working on writing the informed consent form to send in with the rest of my research to get approved I am finding out just how important it is to stay motivated and keep on top of things, especially in the summer.
As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, it is extremely important to stay on top of things and not procrastinate too much during the school year, and summer is the same deal when you are taking classes, performing research, etc.
During the summer, motivation is usually in short supply. You have the sunshine, friends, no homework, bon fires, need I say more?! However, as is the case with the school year, assignments have deadlines and you need to find that motivation, but how to do that?! I have thought of a few ways to keep your motivation going when you would rather be doing anything else over the summer.
Way number one is to think of the end goal and potential benefits from the work and what those really mean. For example, by doing my summer research over the summer it eases my course load in the fall as I will not be doing my IRB Approval when everyone in the class is. That may not seem like a huge deal, but once you experience a college work load, and you have a class that the teacher says will be the work of two any less work makes all the difference.
A second way is to create a sort of rewards system as that has been proven quite effective by psychologists. So for example, for working diligently for an hour or so, you can have a half hour to enjoy the sunshine, etc. If you are feeling really motivated, take advantage and do extra work at that time. When I am in one of those work modes I can finish an assignment in half the time.
A third, and final, way could be to work for shorter times and limit your distractions. Not many people can sit there and work on an assignment for hours on an end. Take little ten minute breaks once an hour or whenever you feel that you really need to refocus and that your concentration is gone for the minute.
There are plenty of other things that you can do to stay motivated and because every person is different some will work better for you than others. This can certainly be applied during the school year as you are learning to time manage, which I will cover at a later date, but I wanted to cover it now as summer is a huge time for lack of motivation.
Have a great Memorial Day Tomorrow!