How to Stay Motivated during PhD

“How to maintain PhD motivation?” This is a very common question asked by many PhD scholars. Below is an email from a PhD scholar that I am sharing with you. 


I’m doing a PhD from Durham University. I was extremely excited until I went through intense pressure. Now I am losing interest. I find it back-breaking. Intensive research and writing a thesis is seriously a herculean task. I don’t get time, and perhaps I don’t know the ways to do it in a more efficient manner. My researchers have suggested several tips to finish my project calmly in time, but I don’t achieve the desired results. I am extremely depressed now. I feel like I can never have a PhD title. 

Thanks and Regards,

Hey Jennifer, After I read your email what I have twigged is that you are demotivated now. It’s not happening with you only. There are many PhD scholars who face this tortuous phase. Being motivated is extremely crucial to complete any difficult task whether it is PhD or some other work. Here are some ways that can help you motivate yourself. 

Be consistent

Consistency is imperative to complete your PhD project. Ask advisors for tips about the effective ways to conduct research and writing a thesis. Don’t put off your work. Take your deadlines seriously and devote six to seven hours everyday in your research and writing work. Initially you’ll find it difficult to manage, but you can expand your scheduled hours by piecemeal. 

For instance, write two paragraphs a day during the first week. Write three paragraphs a day during the second week, and then write four paragraphs a day during the third week, and so on. This will increase your writing capacity, and you will be able to complete it within time. 

Track your progress

You have 24 hours a day. Divide them for your each work. Take a  diary or make an excel sheet to maintain your progress. Take a resolution to complete a task in time. Initially you may lose deadlines. However, if you persistently keep making efforts towards your goals you will get success. Maintain the proper record of your progress in the sheet. If you see the bar of meeting deadlines going upwards, you’ll feel more motivated.

Talk to your seniors

You should also talk to your experts to have some motivational tips. They can suggest you some ways to stay motivated – after all they have gone through this phase, too. Tell them your schedule and your project-related problems. They will suggest you some tips to handle the problems effectively. 

Stay away from distractions

Email, phone calls, messages, informal meetings are distractions that don’t let you focus on your work and meet deadlines. This demotivates you. Therefore manage your time as the most precious thing, and have fixed time to reply emails, phone calls, and messages. 

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