How to enhance my performance – Part 1 of 2

How to enhance my performance – Part 1 of 2
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Improving my performance during exam season

With exams coming up, it is easy to get caught up in all the workload that has accumulated throughout the semester and this causes a lot of stress. This is not to mention other life stressors that we encounter in our daily lives which contribute to the pressure and anxiety that we experience during this time. This may result in focusing on quantity rather than quality, when we are so preoccupied with getting things done as soon as possible in order to reduce the load, that we forget to check the quality of our work.   

What factors influence performance?

  • Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is what we believe with regards to our ability to do something. It can be broadly defined as the extent to which we believe we can succeed. Self-efficacy is influenced by our self-concept and self-esteem and these are very important in order for us to reach the level we desire in our performance. If we have negative beliefs about our abilities such as ‘I’m not capable enough to do this’, we would have low self-efficacy and it is likely that we would not achieve the desired level of performance. This is because self-efficacy and motivation are connected where as one collects evidence through experiencing achievement and therefore heightens self-efficacy, one is more motivated to further improve. This is because we look forward to experience that good feeling of succeeding once again whereas if we continuously fail a task, we are less likely to continue trying in the future and both motivation as well as self-efficacy decrease.

  • Self-fulfilling prophecy

This is very much linked to self-efficacy because when our perception of our capabilities takes a downfall, we are inclined to seek evidence (albeit unconsciously) to prove ourselves right – in this case, to prove that we are not good enough and that we are unable to perform well. Not only do we decide to notice the proof supporting our beliefs but we also behave in such a way that enforces this. So we act in a manner that complements our beliefs.

  • Stress

We experience stress when we feel like we cannot cope with the perceived demand on us. When this stress is recurring, we become mentally tired, leaving us in a state of persistent and dragging exhaustion. This state does not enhance performance but rather weighs us down and exacerbates the idea that you indeed cannot cope with the pressures put upon you.

In this blog the factors contributing to performance anxiety have been discussed where in the following blog, I will be providing some tips on how we can improve our performance during the exam season.

References

Ackerman, C. (2018). PositivePsychologyProgram. Retrieved from https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/self-efficacy/

Kaufman, C. (2012). Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychology-writers/201210/using-self-fulfilling-prophecies-your-advantage

Salemme, I. Pipefy blog. Retrieved from https://www.pipefy.com/blog/productivity/10-tips-improve-work-performance/

Luanne Grima is a psychology student who works as a childminder with Willingness. She also forms part of Betapsi nio for luanne.

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