(Repost) 7 ways to motivate yourself

By Friday, January 24, 2014 , , No comments

Do you find it hard to meet your self-imposed deadlines and work on your personal goals? Well then, this post is for you and covers my way of meeting my own deadlines and goals.

I've become really good at meeting my own deadlines: my papers are always submitted on time and usually a few weeks before the deadline, I haven't had to study the night before an exam since my very first year at university and I developed the habit to start a homework right after the assignment was given in class

As a result, I feel much more confident and I avoid last minute hasty and sloppy work.

Here's an overview of the 7 key points to increase your inner motivation

1. Take yourself seriously
I used to find it very hard to meet my self-imposed deadlines, as I felt as if they were not real. Deadlines imposted by school or others were the ones I used to never fail, but my own deadlines were rather optional, just in case I don't have anything better to do.

However, at a certain moment, I realized that it is important to take myself, my goals and my deadlines serious. Many of these deadlines help me work towards goals which are important, but not urgent. Those are the tasks which really move my life, studies or research forward, but they just are not urgently burning in my mailbox or on my doorstep.

2. Plan towards it

In my case, I usually try to draft a conference paper relatively soon after the notice of acceptance of the abstract is sent to me. Typically, I will work on the draft 2 or 3 months before the deadline. 

I won't lock myself down in my office and work on it, but I will schedule a week or two in which that paper is my most important project, while keeping the labwork and educational tasks running at their normal pace. 

I've figured out that I need to work on the draft that early, since my supervisors are very busy and it can take some time between my finishing the draft and having an appointment to discuss it.

If you have a completely different goal, say training for a 10k run, then too, you need to start planning months ahead and build up your routine bit by bit. And, of course, this is only possible if you take yourself serious and will take the time to go training on the days and times you've scheduled with yourself.

read more here: PhD Talk blog