How do PhD students keep their motivation up? - PhDData

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How do PhD students keep their motivation up?

September 2022

The journey of earning a doctorate is not easy to cover as its filled with a lot of brainstorming challenges and heartbroken demotivation.  Therefore, it is simple to lose interest in continuing and begin second-guessing your initial choice to do the task. The struggle to get a PhD degree is certainly worth it, as thousands of others before us can testify. Being on halfway through my own PhD programme, I thought I’d provide some advice on how to maintain motivation.

路        Be consistent with your basic purpose

Keep in mind the goals that motivated you to begin the programme. Whatever drove you to pursue a PhD in the first place鈥攂e it a genuine interest in the field, the potential impact of your findings, or the desire to fill a gap in the existing body of knowledge鈥攜ou must never lose sight of that first spark of enthusiasm. For this purpose, I sometimes review the bullet points at the front page of my diary I produced for my interview outlining my goals.

路        Create Sub-Goal out of major Goal

A PhD is a 4 to 5-year long process, it should be divided into smaller sub-tasks and objectives. This exercise will surely help you and your proposal. Short-term, realistic objectives keep you focused and interested throughout your PhD. I am also at the final stage of my research questions.  Focusing on this protects me from experiencing any demotivating lapses in willpower.

路        Don’t isolate yourself from your peers

This piece of advice may sound simple, yet it’s surprising how often we find ourselves cut off from our PhD counterparts and the larger academic community. Most of us have probably made the mistaken assumption, ” It’s not like they could possibly understand the gravity of the situation we’re in,” at one point or another. Avoid struggling alone by asking for and giving support from others in your similar situation.

路        Don’t forget to take breaks in hectic routines

If you’re lacking motivation, give yourself a reasonable break to be fresh and eager for next challenge. This allows you to stand back from the minutiae of life and consider the bigger goal. You should give time to your wants & wishes instead of your needs sometime. As for myself, it makes me feel guilty when I realize that I neglected to take breaks when I was working really hard on my project.

路        Replace your perspective with a new one

It’s very uncommon to question why you decided to pursue a doctorate after realizing that your original motive no longer applies. If that’s the case, there’s no need to lose heart. As fresh viewpoints are available you should learn from the experiences of others, read biographies of academics who have gone through similar challenges, or expand your network to include individuals who may introduce you to fresh perspectives. As for myself, I got inspiration from reading other PhDs’ blogs about their problems and goals.

路        Consider the long-term results of your efforts

It makes me excited When I think about the benefits and opportunities with which I will be bestowed after completing my PhD.  Because of this focus on the future, I am able to maintain my productivity. The beauty of such speculation is that it allows us to imagine a wide range of potential outcomes since we are not limiting ourselves to any one possibility.

Hopefully, you’ve found some ideas here that can help you maintain your drive. A PhD programme should be more than simply a hardship; it should be a rewarding adventure that you’re excited to go on.

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