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Being your own boss – or – the challenge of finding motivation

Hi everyone!


The last few weeks in my student life have been rather monotonous – I was reading a lot (though less than planned) of articles for my master thesis, which is my big project at the moment. And even though we are having some sort of schedule for this semester, it means that we are rather our own bosses. And that is what many people desire to be in life, I believe. But, as you might have guessed from the title of this entry, this inevitably brings along a rather fundamental challenge: how to really motivate yourself to start working, if there are no rewards in near sight? If all you get back is a diploma and a grade in a couple of months time?

My strategy is to try to work everyday for a certain amount of hours, e.g. from 9 to 17, and do as much as possible in this time. I also have motivational quotes hanging around, both virtually and at home, such as “If you’re going through hell, keep going!” (Winston Churchill) or “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” (Amelia Earhart). Plus I try to set several “part goals” and to reward myself after reaching them, such as a trip with friends.

How do you deal with finding motivation and such big papers? Do you have any good tips and tricks? I would be very glad to get YOUR comments and ideas!




  1. Ananthram Sundarababu

    Hi Claudi,

    Greetings. First, my best wishes and Good Luck for your Masters Thesis. I understand that it is not easy to motivate oneself when working alone on a thesis. I underwent this many a time. There are couple of things that one can do to motivate. If I were you, I would do these. I am not presuming that you did not do these already!!

    1. Plan milestones in the thesis. Make a weekly or even daily plan for all the activities that needs to be performed. A backwards planning might help. Planning the activities from the (set) date of deadline to today.. Planning also need to be realistic….

    2. Look @ the plan daily and see if we accomplished it or not. Some times, this will motivate, and some times, it will drive you to perform things. Both will work at different times

    3. Rewarding oneself for each task or activity completed, helps too.

    4. Keep saying to yourself, that you have to achieve ‘something’, at the end of your Masters.. Keep saying it to yourself, and it will work…

    5. After you completed your thesis, try to imagine the accolades on the thesis.. Think about, how your professors or your peers will appreciate you on that.. This will motivate you to do the best work…

    6. Imagine, the best jobs that you can find after your Masters, and dream about it… Keep dreaming, it works..

    7. Try to find any international journals or paper submission invitations on the subject you are doing.. See what kind of papers do they require, and try to correlate if your thesis paper can be submitted in those and get published. Try to write your thesis to their requirement, and worst case even, if you do not submit at the end, you would have been motivated to write your thesis of highest or international quality..

    8. Whenever you are down and has little to no motivation, try to talk to your thesis co-ordinator or guide over a coffee… Tell him/her that you are not motivated at that moment to do things. He/She might give you some good tips.. They can be very efficient too…

    9. Once in a week, talk to your thesis co-ordinator and update your progress. This will motivate and drive you to perform things periodically..

    10. Talk to your family whenever you feel down (from thesis perspective) … They will bring an unexpected pleasant motivation to you.

    11. Travel to new places at times, and get some real good fresh air and memories!! It will also motivate..

    These are the ones, I will do if I were you.. You might have tried so many in the aforementioned, yet, providing my share of two cents!!!




  2. Ananthram Sundarababu


    Greetings. Watch for abundantly available inspiration speeches.

    Watch this video.. It is Awesome.. You will get motivated like hell… I was….

    This one too..



  3. Mando

    I asked permission to use that picture above for my social networking

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