Tips from the NCFDD Monday Motivator: August Edition

by Chava Nerenberg, Graduate Programming Assistant
Thursday, August 06, 2020 10:20 AM


Are you feeling like you just can't get anything done with everything that has been going on recently? Read on for tips from the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community of over 71,000 graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members. 

To take advantage of this amazing resource (free for UCSB students!), you must register with your UCSB account (see how to register here). Once you register, you are automatically subscribed to the Monday Motivator -- your weekly dose of positive energy and actionable steps to increase your productivity and motivation.

Here are some tips and challenges from last month's Monday Motivators.

  • Almost every writer experiences resistance to writing at some point. Resistance shows up in a variety of ways: you may get sleepy, feel inadequate or overwhelmed, become bored by your topic, or suddenly feel compelled to clean the bathroom or do your laundry. It looks different for each person, and it's important to understand how it shows up for you so you can recognize when it happens in the future.
  • For a few days, write down how you're feeling and what you're doing when you plan to be writing but can't seem to get started. Be specific, but also start to look for patterns.
  • Looking back at your resistance log, come up with customized strategies you can use whenever you're feeling a particular kind of resistance. For example, if you often feel overwhelmed, you could resolve to break the task into smaller sub-tasks and then work on the easiest subtask for 15 minutes. If you often have low energy, you could decide to play high energy music to improve your mood and then start writing. Keep this log of strategies next to your workspace so it's easily accessible.
  • Setting a timer and writing for just 15 minutes is often enough to break through your resistance. Even 15 minutes is enough to accomplish something and many people find that after the first 15 minutes they are motivated to continue writing. 
  • It can be helpful to reflect on how your writing has been going over the past couple of months. 2020 has been a strange and difficult year and many people have had to change their working habits. Ask yourself what has worked for you and what hasn't. When have you felt the most productive? Then, try to make those adjustments for the rest of the summer.

For more tips and detailed strategies, subscribe to the Monday Motivator!