Loss of motivation

I feel lack of motivation, I know there is lots of things I can do, but I just cannot think and focus. I forced myself to library everyday however I cannot focus on study. My brain is just not working, but I have lots of things need to catch up, what should I do? I always want to sleep during studying, and as a result I eat a lot but I don’t want to. And at night, I always spend a long time to sleep and I wake up earlier and earlier these days, what can I do?

This can be a very common problem, but the good news is there are a number of things that can help increase focus and motivation. Initially it can be useful to attempt to remember the initial motivation for approaching study. Whatever motivated you then is being tested by the daily grind of long hours, and sometimes it’s important to remind yourself why you’re doing this.

Sometimes motivation decreases due to fatigue and a lack of self-care, and it sounds like your diet and sleep schedule could definitely be contributing to this. Click here for some sleep hygiene tips to help improve your sleep. Oddly enough, we learn when we are asleep, so taking the time is better for your studies anyway! Planning regular meals and snacks can help keep you energised and less likely to eat mindlessly, and making sure your diet is filling and nutritious will also help you focus. Regular exercise will help both your sleep and your ability to concentrate.

Anxiety about our workload can also cause our minds to wander, as it feels like there’s so much to do we don’t know where to start. Planning your time effectively will help you feel more confident and productive:
• Establish a routine as if you were in the paid workforce – go to bed, rise and go to uni at the same times most days.
• Select very small, meaningful, achievable goals that flow into each other.
• Try to achieve a balance, and focus on what tasks you have completed, not just the tasks you still need to do. Energise yourself with scheduled downtime, relationship time, recreation time, and enjoyment with friends. The aforementioned will leave your brain readier to work at a high level for longer, rather than blankly staring at a screen.

Finally, Counselling and Psychological Services and Academic Skills Unit run regular workshops on a range of topics that can help with motivation and focus. These workshops not only give practical skills, but attending them in person around other students who are having similar struggles can provide a much needed boost in motivation. Good luck!


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