December 09, 2018
On Saturday, the 8th December 2018, the DoctorateHub held the latest interactive webinar on Staying Motivated for the Thesis Duration. The large cohort of participants were taken through lived first-person perspectives on remaining focused and motivated from Jacqueline Hiddlestone-Mumford, a DBA candidate from University of Liverpool (UoL), and Donna Dark, a DBA candidate from University of Wollongong (UoW). This interactive webinar included open discussions around pain points raised by participants and strategies to address these.
Staying motivated for the entire duration of the thesis is some feat. Other priorities challenge our focus such as: work, life, family, illness, travel and community commitments, etc all making unattainable demands on our time. We all agreed, our social life has taken a battering as the first casualty. So how do you balance everything, keep your sanity and an eye on the prize – your Doctorate without alienating everyone around you?
Understanding what motivation and procrastination is, along with strategies for becoming motivated and stopping, or at least reducing, procrastination – the finding your why? and seeking out a balanced life have a basis of changing our belief system to attain our goals. Examples include writing small chunks…often, breaking tasks down into small components, getting rid of distractions, keeping track of your time and prioritising were all discussed, amongst others.
We were taken through the battle between two forces in our brains that both fight for domination, the Limbic System and Pre-frontal Cortex. Nurturing our pre-frontal cortex will aid long-term gains and fight off short-term dominance of the limbic system, who always wants that short-term rewards. We sought ways to live inside the quadrant of success and balance to focus on our high priority goals.
Donna explored the development of a growth mindset that creates motivation and productivity in supporting the progress of our thesis writing. We then moved onto how both Jacqueline and Donna stayed motivated through their respective thesis, where balance and prioritisation are key, and being able to set boundaries where sometimes you just have to say ‘no’ were explored. One of the biggest regrets is not spending more time with family, even more than pursuing higher education. Bostonprivate.com found these were 47% and 22% respectively in their research, supporting this discussion point.
We were then taken through an example of UoL’s DBA chapter 4 – the story of action, reflection and sense-making cycles; and how to avoid or reduce procrastination in writing it. After all, it’s only through staying motivated and reducing procrastination, that we can attain that elusive 1% – becoming a Doctoral graduate.
Follows are a sample of the many slides and discussion points:
Those attending were provided with a full slide deck and additional reference materials.
As always, we welcome your thoughts on topics of value to you. From feedback received, new topics have been progressively added and content expanded for those scheduled. Some webinars will be re-run over coming months at the request of participants and will appear on the schedule in the next few weeks.
Feel free to explore the Doctorate Hub and register for the Peers4Progress Community group under the Learning area, if you haven’t already. Here, we can exchange idea and support each other on our Doctoral journeys. The website is continually being populated with valuable information to support our Doctoral journeys and beyond as many of us continue undertaking post-Doctoral research in our organisations or seek to publish in peer review journals.