Ask Jigsaw: Techniques to help motivation

Ask Jigsaw: Techniques to help motivation

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Im currently really struggling with finding motivation and interest in college. I enjoy the course but for some reason i just cant motivate myself enough to hold down and do the work. Its not just in college though and its impacting other parts of my life as well including work and general interaction. Is there any techniques that could help me to focus or that would help me with motivation?


Hi sk,

Motivation rises and falls at different times throughout our lives. Understanding our own experience of it can  help us to manage it better.

Questions to ask yourself

It’s can be really frustrating when we’re not motivated to do the things that, deep down, we know we enjoy. Motivation is a very personal experience, and to get an understanding of your own, it can be helpful to ask yourself some questions. 

  • What kind of thoughts and feelings are you having when you find it hard to do things?  
  • When did you begin to struggle with motivation? What changed? 
  •  Are there times when you feel more or less motivated? What’s different about these times?
  •  Is there something you are avoiding, and if so, why?  

You don’t need to know the answer to all of these questions, but being curious about why we are feeling unmotivated, can give us an idea of how to move forward. 

Jigsaw Clinician
Aim for a “good enough” attempt rather than a perfect first try, and you might find it easier to start something that you have been avoiding.

Great Expectations

For some of us, it can be daunting to start a task, despite our interest in it, because we fear they will let ourselves downThis can lead to avoidance. It feels easier or safer to not do something, than to fail.

If you recognise this, aim for a “good enough” attempt rather than a perfect first try. You might find it easier to start something that you have been avoiding if you know you don’t have to get it right.  Read more about this pressure

Goal Setting

Goal setting and motivation is spoken about a lot but it really does help. Having a specific goal to work towards can help us to focus us when motivation is low. Setting out clear set of steps to follow to reach the goalmakes a big task more manageableClick here to learn how to set goals so that they are achievable and work for you.   

Jigsaw Clinician
With more restrictions and less structure to our day, it’s easy for small things to become really challenging.


Covid-19 has turned our usual routines upside down, and this has had a huge impact on motivation levels. With more restrictions and less structure to our day, it’s easy for small things to become really challenging. There are lots of ways to rebuild a routine so that we can do the work we need to do, and to enjoy activities too. Read this article for some ideas on creating a routine to suit you.   

Be kind to yourself

We’re living in challenging and uncertain times at the moment due to Covid-19, and its affected us all in different ways. Keep an eye on how you talk to yourself. Sometimes self-criticism can seem like it’s there to motivate you, but studies show it actually does the opposite. Try to focus on what you’ve achieved that day, rather than the things you didn’t do 

The fact that you’ve reached out for support shows that you want things to change. That’s the first, and often the hardest step, so well done. Keep going, you can do this!  

Take care,


You may also like