Often we have read and heard that completing a PhD can be one of the most difficult tasks of your life and keeping your motivating levels consistent throughout the programmes is often , nearly impossible. Here are some reasons I find apply for why there is lack of motivation in a PhD programme:
1. Research is not easy and it is very difficult to come out with something that is even slightly or barely novel. It demands a very high level of standard when it comes to the strength of the arguments in the empirical content of your research. These high demands require a lot of hard work and sometimes even without a needed and deserved break.
2. The standards we know are high and they are at the same time ambiguous and have a strong element of subjectivity in them. The review that you may get for your work from different experts may be all together contradictory. For the same work, some people may call it worthy and suggest immediate publication and others may call it vague and lacking novelty. It is not easy to live up to everyone‘s standards.
3. It is strange surprising and difficult to comprehend that despite the high standards that the school may set for a doctoral scholar, very few of the final researches have that kind of worthiness. In fact most the researches don’t even get read by people beyond your field. An understanding of all these things does put the researcher in a state of self-doubt about the quality of the work being created in the department so your motivation level is difficult to keep up.
4. Lastly, I want to say, though it may sound bitter, extrinsic motivation does play an important role and we are paid practically peanuts for the work we do and with all the work that you put into your PhD, eventually you would not be paid a million bucks for it and if you would be lucky, you would be earning like another average employee anywhere else.
With all these above mentioned concerns, who can help u you to stay motivated in your PhD? It is no one else but your own self. Train your mind to develop a deep emotional understanding of these factors along with the development of your own intellectual capital.