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How do I motivate myself to do research?

Updated: May 20, 2022

Motivation has been defined by scholars as the drive over the process through which goal-directed activities are initiated and sustained towards the goal. In Expected Value theory, motivation is a connotation of expecting success and the perceived value.

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Throughout our work as researchers, who from us did not experience the inability or frustration to complete the work in his/her research project, as well as the failure to achieve goals in his/her project? Being an accomplished researcher where you can move forward in your task is not easy, but an effort that requires you to work on it constantly. Thus, what can be done to keep us motivated and able to continue?

What are the Tips and Methods that we should follow as Researchers in order to stay motivated?

Scientists tell us in a research study that they asked a group of researchers and academics about the methods that helped them to continue their research career, and the first thing they emphasized was time management in the completion of their research tasks. They used some electronic programs to help them manage time, such as Google Calendar, or other programs that are suitable for personal use. According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits book, what helps people most to achieve their goals is adding what they would like to do in their daily calendar in the form of small behaviors and this results in making them get used to them as daily habits that accelerate achievement of their goal.

Start with small steps and reward yourself, don't wait to publish your research to celebrate. Divide your work into stages and celebrate each stage you complete. Celebrating the completion of these stages keeps you motivated for the next step.

Do not make money your motivation for research, but rather your ultimate goal is to solve a problem in your field of research that you are interested in and seek to develop through your research. Furthermore, remember that the problems of money and research funding are among the difficulties that the researcher faces in his research career, according to many scholars. Yes, money is one of the desires of life, so we all strive to get it as a tool that helps us in the difficulties of life. However, remember that your life has a meaning that you seek to prove through the work that will let the world be a better place to live in and bring benefit to people.

Be confident and don't give up easily, and even if you find yourself stuck and can't move forward, you must have the confidence that enables you to get the determination which allows you to gain new knowledge. Do not despair and keep moving, and success will inevitably be your ally.

Cooperation is one of the most important skills through which you can make your project a success. Be the first with your colleagues to transfer all the new knowledge you have acquired. Working within the team spirit stimulates perseverance and the spirit of benign competition and makes you happy by 20%, which contributes to increasing your productivity. Albert Einstein had discovered the theory of Relativity, because in fact he relied on conversations with friends and colleagues to refine his concept. This is almost always the case.

Work smart, don't overburden yourself with too many tasks, be vigilant in your work. Working long hours exposes you to job burnout thus you will be at the risk of losing the motivation to continue. You have to be organized and define your priorities accurately.

Remember to maintain the balance of your life and do not devote your life to only one work, and neglect the other aspects. Research has shown that taking a break between research tasks helps to increase productivity, clear the mind, and renew the focus throughout the day. Give every aspect of life its due.

Does Failure hinder our Motivation to do Research?

Do not expect perfection. Undoubtedly, the thing that most hinders us from our goals is setting unattainable goals or believing in unrealistic expectations. The real research reality recognizes that not all clinical trials or research theories are successful. Try to deal with failure. When you fail at something, try again and gain the skill of psychological resilience. Always check yourself why it did not work, and what I should do to correct this failure. Do not hesitate to ask for help from someone who can help you and be trusted.

Does surrounding ourselves with a Suitable Environment motivate us?

Make sure to have regular meetings with your team members, to ignite your enthusiasm. Attend many scientific conferences and participate in research meetings through the journal club where members meet to discuss papers of common interest. Join the researchers who work in your field to benefit from their experiences. Expand your knowledge, read many scientific papers and attend many workshops that you can get benefit from in your field.


Just always remember that there is something you have to sacrifice like time and energy in order to produce good research. There is no shortcut to getting excellent search results without hard work. Just try and then try until you get what you want. Make hope your first destination.


1. Cook DA, Artino AR Jr. Motivation to learn: an overview of contemporary theories. Med Educ. 2016 Oct;50(10):997-1014. doi: 10.1111/medu.13074. PMID: 27628718; PMCID: PMC5113774

2. Shahrom Md Zain, MohdSyuhaimi Ab-Rahman, Ahmad Kamal AriffinMohd Ihsan, AzamiZahrim, MohdJailaniMohd Nor, MohdFauziMohd Zain, AfiqHipni, Nurfarah Liza Ramli, Wan Aizon Wan Ghopa,Motivation for Research and Publication: Experience as a Researcher and an Academic.Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences,Volume 18,Pages 213-219,ISSN 1877-0428,2011.

3. Maslach C, Leiter MP. Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry. World Psychiatry. 2016 Jun;15(2):103-11. doi: 10.1002/wps.20311. PMID: 27265691; PMCID: PMC4911781.

4. Fragouli, Evangelia, and Irini Ilia. "“Working smart and not hard”: key to maximize Employee efficiency?." International Journal of Information, Business and Management 11.2 (2019): 74-111.

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