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Brain Support Toolkit

Assistive supports and technology for productivity and enhanced learning

Troubleshoot Your Motivation

Often, the hardest part is just getting started. If you have a fast-moving brain, it can be really difficult and unnatural to slow down and identify what's getting in the way. However, figuring out what kind of block you're experiencing will allow you to choose the next steps.

This kind of reflection often doesn't come naturally. One way to combat this is to set a daily digital reminder midway through the day to pause and figure out if you're on the right track. If you're not, consider the following solutions I've adapted for our students from Your Brain's Not Broken by Tamara Rosier, PhD. 


  • Is it an emotional block? (I don't want to do it, I hate this assignment, I feel dumb) 

Solution: Take a 20 min break to stretch, breathe, accept your discomfort, talk to a friend, or eat something. You'll probably feel a bit better after that. 

If you want to meet with a trained coach to support skill building that will help you excel in and out of class, contact Academic Coaching. If you find yourself frequently dealing with negative thoughts and concerns, contact Counseling Services


  • Is it a technical block? (I don't have the information I need, I don't have my sources, I don't have the technology)

Solution: Take a minute to rewrite your to-do list, and include what you need to complete your task. 

If you're experiencing a technology issue, contact ITS or come by the library to use our resources. Make an appointment with your Librarian to talk about your sources, or how to improve your research skills!


  • Is it a cognitive block? (I don't understand the assignment, I don't understand the concepts)

​​​​​​​Solution: Take a minute to rewrite your to-do list, and include what you need to learn in order to finish the task. 

If the assignment is unclear, meet with your professor. If the class content is unclear, meet with a tutor, head to the library to learn more about your topic, or read about organizing your research