Christmas, dissertations and motivation tips!

Hello all!

I hope everyone has had a good Christmas and new year and has had a well-deserved break from whatever work is to be done. I certainly have!

I started the festive period with a trip to Hamburg with my family for the Christmas Markets. Manchester is the self-proclaimed UK capital of Christmas and has huge sprawling European style markets every year – but I wanted to see whether they compared to the real thing! Hamburg was a lovely city but sadly it rained from as soon as we arrived to when we got to the airport on our way home.

Eleanor - Hamburg

Then was Christmas, a usual family affair with my Grandma and older brother both visiting, at home in Derbyshire. We even had a few days of snow!

However, back to the grind, I’m now back in Manchester cracking on with my essay project on the subject of speech therapy in relation to Alzheimer’s patients. This is the first year so far that I haven’t had exams in January, it’s a miracle!!! Without revision to do I find myself with a lot of free time (I shouldn’t have really, I should be doing my essay but it FEELS like free time). I have, however, got to be getting on with my ASO2 project, a kind of dissertation I have to complete this semester. It involves writing a literature review and planning a research project in an area of interest within speech and language therapy. So apologies for my recent absence as this is what has been occupying my brain!

The plan is to research something to do with Alzheimer’s patients and their families related to speech therapy input. One of the hardest things about it though is wording the title!

With all this unstructured time, its been tricky trying to get myself into a proper schedule of doing work, as I’m used to having quite a lot of contact time (time spent in lectures or being taught). I still have the same amount of work to do but no one telling me to do it!

With that in mind, I have a few tips that help me get the most out of my day and motivate myself!

  1. Make a list of what needs doing tomorrow the night before. I always find this helps me sleep as I’m not thinking about a million things and hoping I won’t forget to do them – it’s all written down!
  2. Leave the house. I always make an effort to get up and go into uni – it makes me feel like I’ve had a far more productive day than if I tried to do my research in bed, as tempting as it seems. Also, when I’m at uni I can’t just take breaks to watch 3 hour films or hoover the stairs which I always find myself doing at home!
  3. Find the best time to work. I always work better in the evenings. If I work in the day, I can always think of 1000 things that I could be doing instead. If I spend the day doing those and THEN work, there’s nothing else to do to put it off. I know that sounds a bit mad but it works for me! I can often be found in the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons at 10pm on a week night.
  4. Set that time and stick to it! Mornings and weekends are off-limits for me in terms of uni work, but it stops me from feeling guilty that I KNOW I will be going to uni that evening and I KNOW that’s what’s best for me. Guilt free lie ins every day!
  5. Find a study buddy. It helps so much with motivation. My friend and I go to the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons together, and it’s a real help to have someone to be able to talk about the work with, and have a chat about other stuff with when we need a break!

These of course are just what I’ve found works best for me throughout my 4 years at uni. Everyone will have different strategies, but my point is, work them out! Try a few ways of learning, at home/in uni, in the morning/evening, with/without music, notes/diagrams etc as it really does make a difference.

Anyway, back to work!

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