Have you ever sat at your desk and felt unmotivated to do any work? You have your textbooks and computer open yet you still feel like you don’t want to study. You feel you don’t need to do the work at that moment because your future self will do it. The next day you wake up and realize that you still have not started your project. The due date comes closer and closer and you start to panic. Even so, you still seem like you cannot drag your pencil across your notebook.

We’ve all been in this situation. This happens everywhere, including AISB, where around 89% of secondary students reported, in a survey conducted earlier this year, that they thought that they could have done better in at least one assignment, but didn’t, because of a lack of motivation.

What leads us to procrastinate?

As reported in The New York Times, procrastination is a natural behavior in human beings and yet it is rarely because of poor time management or self-control. 

Procrastination, the study suggests, is related to emotions instead. It has more to do with managing emotions within yourself. 

“But it might also result from deeper feelings related to the task, such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety or insecurity,” Dr. Piers Steel says.

However, procrastination is a bad decision – merely a temporary moment of relief. In the long term, it’s not the best choice for you. 

What motivates AISB students?

Let’s look at how AISB students become motivated. A short survey sent to secondary students revealed that some students are motived by:

  • External factors such as their parents telling them to study.
  • Doing well on the task and therefore feeling good about themselves. 
  • The consequence of not doing well on a summative task.

Sixty percent of the respondents said that they are motivated by the fact that their futures “depend” on the grades they receive on summative tasks.

Grades provide greater motivation to students than you may think. At least seventy percent of the respondents wrote about how grades are a motivating factor for them. 

“Usually I just procrastinate for no reason,” says an anonymous grade 9 student. “I always feel terrible about it, but I can’t stop.”

In general, it seems there is a conflict between the grades students expect of themselves and the amount of time they actually spend studying—across an entire unit—to achieve such a grade. So how can students make a change?

Ways to motivate yourself

Image Source: Wikimedia Comms

Here are some tips and tricks that AISB students reportedly use to motivate themselves if they do not feel like finishing an assignment. 

  • Listening to music they like calms them down and gets them in the mood to work on a task, not just study.
  • Making a ‘To-do List’ where they write down small tasks they need to do and tick them once they complete them. 
  • Doing smaller portions of a big assignment lets them not be overwhelmed at once and helps them keep on task. 

All in all, being in the mindset of wanting to do the work helps you get started on your assignment. Anytime you feel stressed about homework that you aren’t motivated to continue working on, try out one of these strategies; they just might work for you!

Do you have any motivational strategies that work for you? Let us know!