Seminar: SMART – Staying motivated (S1 2016)

I attended this interactive seminar organized by the University Counselling Service (Mindfulness Program) aimed towards understanding motivation, procrastination and perfectionism and the factors that drive them. The focused on challenging our assumptions and building a “growth mindset” to facilitate performance.

Date: Wednesday 6 April, 2016
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Venue: Building H – B39, Caulfield

Some of the things I learnt from the session and is very much related to my studies is that: one should anticipate obstacles and to overcome it – prepare for it and have support mechanism around it (family, friends, spiritual).

Motivation is a choice and about making the right choice. Its about taking positive steps towards the goal and even if that means make small progress each time.

  External Motivation factors      incentives, rewards, avoid punishment
  Internal Motivation factors      curiosity, goal, values, enjoyment

It is important is build a growth mindset to facilitate performance. The following figure shows the belief system of Fixed vs Growth mindset.


Fig 1: Fixed vs Growth Mindset

The next section of the seminar focused on Procrastination. Procrastination is :

  • “avoidance of tasks”
  • replacing high-priority with low-priority tasks.
  • different from over-commitment
  • is a “habit” and can be changed.

From the the discussion, some of the anti-procrastination approaches I gathered is that:

  1. Mental tricks to get started (break big tasks into smaller sub-tasks; start with energizing task)
  2. Maintain focus.
  3. Diet, exercise & sleep is crucial (stress management)

Managing our thinking is often the biggest challenge to academic success.