Working on Your Own

Self-Motivated Work

Many people find learning or working under someone’s leadership to be much easier than doing same things on their own. Grades or salaries become their motivation in that case. What if nobody puts you marks for certain activities and results, and you are busy with a self-education to get skills which are not going to bring you profits on the next day? In this case, things go much more complicated, and it means laziness and procrastination are going to stay with you on the way. How to get rid of them?

This is what we are going to discuss in this article by It will be useful for those who study on their own, and for full-time students of colleges and universities, too. But remember: no advice can help if you don’t love your studying, if you don’t feel glad because of getting improved and going to bed a better human than you used to be while waking up in the morning.

1. Overcome Negative Stimulation

When you think about something you don’t want to do (exam preparation, listening to a lecture or reading a complicated book) you activate brain parts that are connected to suffering and pain. So, your brain starts looking for ways to overcome this negative stimulation.

Your brain acts simply, it switches your attention to other things. The process looks like next:

  • You feel uncomfortable when thinking about the need to sit and learn foreign language grammar rules;
  • You switch your attention to a task which is more pleasant (watch a YouTube video or chat with a friend on Facebook);
  • You feel better (at least for some time);
  • Later you feel bad again, as the task is still there, and you’ve lost much time already.
  • There is the way to overcome that discomfort you feel when thinking about the work upon the unpleasant task. That discomfort vaporizes as you start acting. The trick is, to tell yourself that you are going to work on that task for a short time (15-30 minutes). This lets you cheat yourself at the start and gets you into the “flow” of the process.

2. Process vs Result

To stop procrastinating, concentrate on the process, not on the result. The process is about time and actions you take. On the other side, the result is your final goal. Here is an example:

  • If you want to create a video-guide, then the video-guide itself is your goal, result, product. The pressure made by the result create anxiety and worrying that read to procrastination. If you switch your attention onto getting satisfied with the process of creation itself, worries will fade out pretty soon.
  • Concentrate on each working session instead of concentrating on the goal to finish the guide.

By concentrating attention on a process, you’ll be able to relax during your work instead of worrying about the result. You do your job already, you gain new knowledges. Don’t be paralyzed by a thought about writing a book. Just write it.

3. Find Triggers Making You Procrastinate

Procrastination Triggers

Procrastination is the automatic habit, so a person is often even not conscious about being a procrastinator. In order to fight it, you need to find signals making it appear. Triggers can be like next:

  • You decide to check an email box fast, and spend 30 minutes on reading and answering emails;
  • You decided to find something in the Internet fast, and spend 20 minutes in a browser on surfing the pages, though it was real for you to find that answer in 3 minutes;
  • You phone rings, you answer ant then continue talking to the person who called you;
  • You decided to work on your video-guiding course, but you feel confused: you never worked on that type of guides before and you don't really know what to do. Instead of finding answers you go in for “replacing” activities. For instance, you delete unneeded files from your computer, clean the desktop and recycle bin.

4. Create Positive Learning Skills

You can overcome procrastination by creating positive learning skills. There are three steps towards creating a new habit:

  • Signal;
  • Action;
  • Reward.

You need a signal to start learning. For instance, once you wake up in the morning, you turn your laptop on and it meets you with an empty text file ready to be filled. Action is what you are going to do after you receive a signal. In that case, it can be freewriting exercise. Once it is done, reward yourself with a coffee cup or tasty breakfast. It’s your call.

5. Plan the Next Day in the Evening

Researches show, that if you prepare your task list the day before, then your mind processes it while you sleep and thinks out how to complete all tasks. If you don’t do that, tasks will stay in your memory during the day and occupy your valuable mental resources.

6. Make Notes About What Works and What Doesn’t


While working on the creation of the effective system to overcome procrastination, make notes about the effectiveness of this or that measure.

  • Note, what environment is the most comfortable for you to work, and what is not;
  • Is there a certain time of the day when you feel working on difficult and important tasks more easy?
  • Do you need to mix difficult tasks with easy ones?
  • How do deadlines influence you?
  • What do you usually do to reach success? How can it be used in this case?

Keeping those notes, you can build up your own system until you get a perfect set of your personal self-organization instruments. 

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