One thing that I learn about doing a research and writing dissertation is the need to get myself motivated. You won’t believe me (if you haven’t done this before) that you can easily give up any day during this period. Believe me that if I let myself be, I would have given up the whole Master’s degree before I started on this dissertation. Of course, I’m not one that prefers failure and I have never given up easily in my life.
Hence, motivation has become essential in my life now, especially during this critical period of completing my dissertation. You can give me lectures and exams any time that I can promise to get flying colors. However, with research, everything is so different. No lectures, no exams, no group project. It’s only my research, my writing, my resource-searching. Everything is me alone. No one can help (of course, there’s still the supervisor and coursemates). Literally, my research is my own work. When talking about working alone, obviously my motivation level has gone down the drain as each day passes by. Couple with office works and others commitment in life, that level of motivation can sometimes go into freezer.
So, how I keep myself moving ahead? By reading motivational sources and sharing emotion with others. I found that reading about success tips in doing dissertation helps a lot. I found this site: Complete Your Dissertation by Dr. Rachna Jain very motivating. I signed up with her newsletter to receive useful tips in doing dissertation in email on weekly basis. There are also a lot of good tips too on the site for quick motivational boast.
One of the best thing I learn from her is this tip: Set small goals. Meet. Repeat. Try to break down the bigger tasks into smaller tasks and try to achieve each task in 45 minutes block. After that, take a break and repeat the process by completing another task. When I finished each small task, I feel triumphant. This feeling keeps me motivated to continue another task. Just the other day, when I finally found time to sit down and write, I managed to write 500 words in 40 minutes. It was a short writing, part of my literature review. I haven’t reviewed that writing yet or even put any reference, but I just felt the need to write what’s in my mind and keeping the motion. I felt good with that small achievement and that makes me want to do it more. Tidying up my reference can be considered a small task (and very important too). Even writing my blog post now is one of my task. Hehe! So, no matter how big or small my milestone, as long as I keep moving ahead, I think I’m on the right track. The difference is only the matter of time, when I can finally complete and graduate. 😛
Lastly, if you are doing your dissertation or thesis right now and feel hopeless, go grab some motivational tips now. It’s never too late and it’s not an impossible task. Keep your ultimate goal for taking this challenge in mind. Dream what you will get once you complete. That would be my blissful moment. By that, it will keep you moving ahead and succeed.
Ops! Now I sound like an expert. Haha!