After a long day from 9 to 3, you finally freed yourself from that exhausting place called school you go every weekday. You put your things down and go to grab some snacks, then you remember that you have 5 assignments and 2 projects due tomorrow. You know that you have to do it, because not only does the teacher tell you to; your parents, who sent you to a private school, might not be happy to let your grades slide. However, you know from the bottom of your heart, that your brain is more inclined towards the Netflix anime series that just launched yesterday, so you try to battle yourself internally and finally agree upon a plan to watch Netflix for thirty minutes and do your work. And from that point, we already know what is going to happen, we just don't know how confident you are presenting a project with 10 minutes of preparation before class.
In this article, we are going to look at the topic that concerns us at all times: motivation. A good side of motivation would lead to organized hours and a healthy schedule, while the opposite would lead to procrastination and bad feelings towards yourself. Let's talk about what motivation and procrastination is, how they work, some weird yet evidential phenomena around it, and how we can balance and enjoy our task at the same time.
What is motivation? The literal definition of motivation is "the experience of desire or aversion. As such, motivation has both an objective aspect and an internal or subjective aspect." Often times we are not inclined to do something, only because we don't have enough motivation towards it. We can agree that in the working aspect, motivation is the easy fix for low productivity and procrastination, whether you are motivated by people around you, forcefully by parents, or in the best scenario, by the passion that you have towards what you want to accomplish. To make everything simple, if you have certain types of motivation, you can finish your tasks.
Motivation is important, like really important. In a motivated mindset, you remember more of what you learned. This sounds like an obvious fact, but evidence showed that the reality is more nuanced. In a study conducted by Professor Murayama and Elliot from the University of Munich in 2011 on two types of motivation influenced learning, they found that motivation derived from actual liking or will to master the subject has led a significantly greater amount of remembering during tests.
You often hear people saying that you have "golden hours" and "times when you are the most productive". It is in fact 8 AM and 4 PM by the way, there are different factors, other than time, that contribute to our overall motivation. The environment is quite a big one. Environment in this context means not only the physical environment and atmosphere around you, but also the people. People often have the most effect on your concentration and focus.
The Role of Others
How do people play a role in motivating or distracting you? Aside from distractions, there could be a positive impact of sitting among other people. Surrounding yourself with a group of friends could make you feel supported and more inclined to achieve more. A recent study undertaken by Wild-goose of 120 workplaces in the UK found, that sixty one percent of the respondents rated having friends at work as more important than good pay. This indicates that people care about the social aspect of motivation, because other people's attitude and actions evidently create a big impact on you. A study group is one of the best sources of motivation as they create positive impacts on all people within that group. Humans are social creatures, and since the beginning of time, have learned to socialize and imitate others' behaviors. For instance, if you are sitting with a group of kids who are studying with their earbuds in, you would be influenced to put in your earbuds too, right?
Let's say you set yourself a schedule for a personal project or exam revising, and you want to complete it within a month. Although lots of people think they work better alone to minimize distractions, the fact might be that they have not established or been in certain supportive friend groups yet. Being alone in a journey could result in a lot of things, like the lack of relevant information, the lack of support and the lack of happiness gained from social interactions which all cause the lack of motivation and productivity. This applies to everybody, you could go and find other people who might be interested in the same subject, that way you could motivate each other together, which comparatively would always be better than being alone on the path.
This psychological effect also takes place in other types of activities. An example of this is one of Mr. Bennett's classes. When students attend social studies class, the first thing they do is go over a current event topic and provide their opinions on it. I have seen countless moments when grade 10s became very focused and critically think over the issues being discussed, because the engaging atmosphere embraced and motivated people who would normally be more reserved to give their opinions.
To be Motivated
It is easy to find people who have the same interest as you, but we should also look for a group who are greatly motivated, to influence ourselves and add to that environment. To gain motivation, you should not solely rely on your interest in the subject and class deadlines, but also to rely on interactions and putting yourself within a motivated environment.