Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘motivation

The new academic year is fast approaching. One of the key items of stationary for students and teachers alike is the diary. Why is it that writing things down helps so much? For organisational purposes for sure, but also it is very satisfying. Diaries are personal tools to regularly reflect which can boost motivation.

Keeping a diary may include ticking items off the list, fitting fun things into a routine and seeing the big picture of the week or year. Keeping a diary is an effective old-fashioned way to develop good study skills. However, if writing a diary sounds like work perhaps as Tefula (2014) consider how to make it more interesting: whether with mindmaps, stickers, technology (audio notes and reminders), or tie it in with another goal or guilty pleasure.

For more handy tips on cultivating motivation, reflection and getting work done you can borrow our new books:

Student procrastination by Michael Tefula.

Studying as a parent by Helen Owton.

It is hard to remember all your tasks let alone to stay focused on them.  This is especially true if the task is long and has many daunting steps (*ahem*…essay-writing and revision).

There are great apps for your phone, tablet or computer that help you with your to-do lists and productivity. The app called Epic Win sounds innovative with every task you complete giving you the opportunity to enhance your online persona or get to the next level. Turning life admin into a game is one method to stay motivated.

For essay writing and revision, one technique that has been around a fair few years is the Pomodoro technique. Coming from the Italian word for tomato which was the shape of the timer the inventor of the technique used. It is especially good for complex tasks such as completing academic work.

According to the technique the key is to work productively in short stints of 25 minutes. During this timed period you must work and only work. But when the alarm goes off to mark the completion of a productive time period then you get a short (5 minute) break. You could get a cuppa, check Facebook or just otherwise daydream -whatever little reward floats your boat. Then you go back to your productive time. After 3-4 cycles of productivity and short rests you get a longer break (15-30 mins).

The Pomodoro technique may sound a bit too regimented for some, plus what happens if you have just got into something and the alarm for a break goes off? You have to work how it suits you, but perhaps this time-management technique can be part of an armory of other ways to keep your nose to the grindstone.

You can use a timer or find a Pomodoro inspired app online. Some apps like Keep Focused and Pomodairo let you input and save what you intend to work on in the productive session. So you have a record of what you have been doing and can see what you have achieved at a glance.

It’s much healthier than the gummy bear motivational technique.

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