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Using Rewards & Tricks for Boosting Assignment Motivation
Motivation is essential for students for several reasons. Firstly, it makes them enthusiastic about a topic or about making progress in understanding it or working on it. This enthusiasm is enough for overwhelming any potential reluctance associated with the need to dedicate significant effort in advancing towards the goal. As a result, students find it easier diving into these assignments forgetting about how much effort these require or about contemplating various difficulties which might be encountered in the process. It normally reflects in the quality of obtained results.
Secondly, being motivated helps avoid procrastination – postponing work because of how unpleasant or scary it feels to do it. Postponing leads to a waste of time. As a result, insufficient time left often results in poorly executed assignments performed in a stressful atmosphere.
While we can force ourselves to do unpleasant things for short periods, it is very hard to achieve long-term sustained effort without motivation. Unfortunately, motivation is also an elusive resource given that we cannot always control it directly. But how to get motivated to do assignments in such case? Below we discuss a few tricks and techniques.
Why Reward is Important, Types of Rewards
If you are wondering how to motivate yourself to do homework, start by considering rewards and their incredible efficiency. We, humans, often have fairly simple and primitive desires – forcing ourselves to work towards meaningful accomplishments is often obstructed by our ever-present desire for instant gratification. Such desires could involve watching our favourite Australian TV channel, playing video games, reading some entertaining stuff, etc. When these things contribute to procrastination, they are pure evil.
However, turning these things into strictly controlled prizes do wonders. Thus, it’s much easier to contemplate doing some pleasurable activity in 25 minutes than becoming a professional in your career – the first is very tangible and almost immediate.
Rewards come in many forms. Small prizes may involve chatting with a friend for 10 minutes, listening to a favourite song, watching an interesting YouTube video, getting some fresh air, or just letting your mind wander while having tea. The Pomodoro technique is a well-known time-management method for organizing your work in intensive strides of effort lasting about 25 minutes followed by short pauses during which you rest.
Besides, one should also plan bigger prizes when achieving certain milestones, such as passing an important exam or completing a complex assignment. In fact, prizes should be proportional to achievements – for instance, with grades obtained for particular assignments. It would motivate not only completion of certain assignments but would also prioritize qualitative work.
As for the types of rewards, these could be represented by anything imaginable and may vary greatly across individuals: dining somewhere nice with friends, buying some stuff, watching a movie, traveling somewhere. However, avoid rewards which lead to an unhealthy lifestyle or result in bad habits – for instance, eating sweets, eating excessively, developing shopping or video game addictions.
10 Tips on How to Get Motivated to Do Homework
Given that motivation needs to be actively maintained, the true question is not how to BE motivated to do homework but rather how to GET motivated. Here are 10 suggestions which prove to be helpful:
- Write down the reasons why you have to do a task and what it will offer you in terms of knowledge, skills, abilities, experience. Imagine the consequences of completing and not completing the assignment or those of doing an excellent job versus an average one. It should draw a very clear and contrasting picture in your mind that would help convince yourself about the necessary effort.
- Take a break to refresh your organism: use small amounts of some tasty and healthy snacks for motivation; take a shower or go for a swim if you are in the middle of a hot Australian summer; go jogging to relax and reset your mind.
- Work together with a colleague that inspires you to study. When studying gets a social dimension, it becomes incredibly more entertaining – meeting your study partner may become another valid reason for enjoying your math assignments.
- Make your working environment comfortable. Adjust the lights, put some calm music, pick a comfortable chair, assume a healthy posture, take your preferred pen, put an Australian flag in front of you – whatever helps.
- Don’t contemplate the amount of work left but rather focus on the process – this is highly important as confirmed by research focussing on efficient learning. Thinking about how much work is left scares your assignment motivation, while thinking about rewards or contemplating that the process could be fairly interesting does the opposite.
- Focus on starting the process – later, it’ll become self-sustaining. As you deepen your knowledge and skills, the discipline often becomes more interesting and captivating.
- Find means for visualizing your progress. Keep track of the number of pages (read or written), place a coin in a stack for every completed exercise or assignment, etc. When facing challenges, such means of visualizing long-term effort may serve as a reminder that you’ve come a long way and nothing will stop you.
- Attempt challenging and bald tasks as part of your assignments – do everything to break the routine and make these assignments as interesting as possible
- One obvious tool for student motivation are grades – it could be inspiring to anticipate how smart they’ll make you feel, how the attitude of teachers and colleagues would change, what new opportunities they open, both immediate and distant.
- Make deals with friends that you’ll ace a certain course – it is probably one of the few cases when betting money or personal goods is not only wise but even honourable. You’ll be surprised how zealous you become overnight when both money and pride are involved.
While these tips can fix your motivation to do homework, for now, things might change with time, when you build certain knowledge or gain better discipline-related or general skills like writing, solving, arguing. You might end up looking forward to an assignment if you suddenly come up with some ingenious formulations or thoughts you want to share. What may determine your motivation to do assignments at this stage is anticipating how your teacher, professor, or colleagues would react to these thoughts, conclusions, or arguments.