Category Archives: Motivation, Discipline & Routine

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What if I told you your mindset is holding you back?  The way you view what you do, and the outcome of your effort will immediately reveal whether your predominant mindset is fixed, or one of growth. Are you only results-driven, seeing anything but total success as the acceptable end result? Does a major setback seem like the end of the road? Do you believe that if you were meant for the task (thesis writing) it should come easier? Have you thought about quitting because it’s just too hard? Then there’s a strong case to be made that you’re stuck in a fixed mindset. It’s not a good place to be, and in many ways, it’s a flavour of self-sabotage that happens on an unconscious level. We are all susceptible. And we all succumb to the fixed mindset at times.  The Fixed Mindset The fixed mindset is obsessed with performance.…

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No-one would dare propose that the undertaking of postgraduate studies, which requires extensive research and academic writing is a walk in the park. Yet, we seem to raise an eyebrow at those who crack under the pressure. Regardless of being more informed and enlightened than ever, we still judge those who succumb to the adverse pressure of academic performance. I’d like to take this opportunity to have an honest conversation about mental health. I wish to thwart the idea that depression and anxiety, in particular, are symptoms of weakness. Or that either of these states of mind is in any way abnormal. Have you ever met a person who has not had a depressive episode? Or experienced anxiety? Me either. “Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stressors of life, can work productively and fruitfully…

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In my coaching practice I’ve learned that over and above the constraints of time, the biggest challenge students face in their thesis writing year is managing a fulfilling relationship with their supervisor (Super).  Many of my clients experience feelings of dread at the thought of those scheduled meetings. And, they often leave these meetings feeling less motivated, more overwhelmed and as if their Super’s input or lack thereof didn’t address relevant issues, let alone add value to their work. Your relationship with your Super is key whilst writing your thesis. Here’s some advice on how to foster and nurture a more meaningful relationship. Take Charge Although your Super is a highly esteemed academic and deserving of your respect, remember that in the end, the successful completion of your thesis is your responsibility alone. This means that you are in charge and should take an active approach when managing this key…

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Unlike achieving a bachelor’s degree, post grad studies often demand a dissertation or thesis component and the transition from student to researcher is demanding. Not only do you have to learn, you also have to do your research independently to answer your thesis question. Furthermore, you have to organize your findings in an academic paper worthy of publishing. Writing a thesis is a lot like eating an elephant: You have to tackle it in bite size chunks. If your mindset is focused on The Thesis, in its entirety, you will feel overwhelmed and grow anxious by the enormity of the task ahead. That is why project managing yourself and having a structured approach to how, when and where you’ll spend the time writing your paper is vital. READ: Project Manage Yourself to the Finish Line But even the best laid plans can go haywire, because, well, life happens. This is…

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…Long Live the New Year’s Resolution! You might have heard the phrase: The King is Dead! Long Live the King! This means that the (previous) king is dead and we wish the (new) king a long life. It also indicates that there is never a time without a king. Enter the ye olde new year’s resolution. It’s been a trend in recent years for people to publicly declare that they don’t do new year’s resolutions. Are you one of them? I’m of the opinion that while the first of January resolution might not be fashionable anymore – goal setting, planning and working towards personal and career growth is a big deal to individuals who live consciously. On one level it makes sense to ditch the idea of making resolutions if the past has taught you that you are more likely to fail than succeed. But there is a big difference…

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If you intend to graduate in March 2019 and your thesis submission deadline is somewhere between now and then, you know what I’m about to tell you: You’ll have to work on your thesis over the festive season. Of course, it is tempting to simply take the December holiday period off and pick up your academic study in the new year. But, while the idea of fitting in thesis writing between sun-downers, year end functions and family get togethers may seem an impossible task, it will be well worth the effort to get organised and do as much as you can without sacrificing an entire month of progress. Simply put: make peace with the fact that you will have to give something up to fit in your work. More on sacrifice here. Then be pragmatic and start planning in sessions that you will dedicate to your thesis between 1 December…

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You might not pay much heed to your thesis studying environment. A desk. A laptop / computer. A chair. That’s all you need, right? Wrong. One of the first areas I believe you should pay attention to when embarking on the thesis writing component of your degree is your study space. After all, it’s the starting block of this marathon you are running. Your physical environment needs to be conducive to thinking and writing. Your thesis writing work space should motivate you to take action and get things done. Author Roald Dahl had a strict daily writing routine, but what is most interesting is the workspace he created for himself. He physically removed himself from his home and took refuge to a small garden shed at the back of his property which he called his writing hut. It was a tiny room with little more than an armchair  and a…

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[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.27.4″] I KNOW there are too many blog posts with tips on how to get your act together. But scan these, you will find one or two potent points that resonate with you. Find your purpose What do you do everyday that gives you pleasure? What feeds your soul? You are unique, discover what you are best at and what you enjoy doing. Stop wasting time doing what you hate – figure this out – it’s important. Routine creates reality Start your day with a routine that works best for you. FFS, don’t set yourself up for failure within the first week because your plan includes outrageous stuff that you’ve tried before and just didn’t work e.g. going to the gym at 05h00. To fail to plan is to plan to fail Prioritise – you must determine that which…

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[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.27.4″] “Addictive behavior can be summed up by one word: MORE! It’s when you’re powerless to resist MORE sugar, MORE sex, MORE shopping, MORE Facebook, MORE booze or MORE drugs” (Smallwood).   Addiction affects our emotions similarly on all the different types of addictive behaviors. For example, gamblers’ chase the thrill of the next bet in the hope of the potential big win, shopaholics desire that feeling of happiness that is triggered when they buy new shoes.  Anyone can become addicted, it depends on the individual.  But whatever the addiction is, it’s the same process as clearly articulated by Dr Gabo Mate in his short description on the psychology of addiction. Whatever your vice, if it’s force is so strong that it’s sidetracking your focus and preventing you from following through on your plans, you need to get a grip…

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20/21