Unmotivated? Reward yourself.

With senior exams looming, a couple of my students have asked me about study tips, including motivation. I told them what I do to get myself writing / editing / doing boring admin stuff when I’d rather be doing something fun.

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My job today – complete edits and formatting for Heroes.

‘Butt-in-seat’ is a common approach (put your butt on the seat and work), but I find myself getting distracted easily. What I do is set myself little goals, and when I reach that goal I can have a reward.

Below are some of the goals and rewards I use – but everyone’s different. What might motivate you?

Examples of my goals:

  • Write 500 words
  • Write a page of longhand
  • Edit 5 pages
  • Do one week’s accounts
  • Complete pencil sketch
  • Complete outline
  • Do 20 minutes of writing

Examples of my rewards:

  • Play ukelele for 10mins
  • Make a fresh cup of tea
  • Tim Tams!
  • An episode of Spongebob Squarepants (not even kidding)
  • A game of Black Ops (also not kidding)
  • Check Twitter
  • 5mins of colouring
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