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Increasing Motivation

Motivation is a complex issue, with a number of causes and solutions -- many of which are of interest to university students, who usually know what they should be doing, but occasionally complain that they "lack the motivation" to do it.

At this point, you get to do a little "self-diagnosis," so we can point you in the right direction. If our first guess about what you need isn't any help, be sure to check the other sections.

  • "I did fine in high school and/or at work -- I wasn't late and I was able to get things done on time, even if I didn't enjoy doing them. But here, I can't seem to get organized." If this is you, click here.
  • "I get fed up with school. I tend to be apathetic, and procrastinate a lot. Sometimes I feel alienated and school loses meaning for me." If this is you, click here.
  • "I get distracted a lot. There is always something to do other than school -- and usually, it's more fun." If this is you, click here.
  • "Sometimes I wonder why I'm even doing this. I don't enjoy it: it's not 'me'" If this is you, click here.
  • "I get bored with studying. Often when I'm reading, my eyes are tracking along, but nothing is sinking in, and before I know it, my head is down on the table and I'm asleep." If this is you, click here.
  • "I have had a terrible term: something happened that was totally out of my control (e.g. I was in an accident; my partner dumped me; I was involved in a court case, etc.) and I was so upset or distracted that I couldn't do my school work." If this is you, click here.


The following handouts on writing papers are available at Counselling Services.

Self-diagnosis like this can be pretty unreliable. We are doing our best to get you on the right track, but we recommend seeing a Learning Counsellor for any motivational issue that interferes with your school work. Click here for further comments on diagnosis of motivational difficulties.


Updated: May 2012

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