We all go through times in our professional lives, especially if we’re self-employed, when we feel the motivation waning with us, and when we feel stuck. But staying stagnant won’t bring us the outcomes that we desire. We have to keep going and focus on consistency if we want to achieve the completion of our projects.
One effective strategy to help us get unstuck is to give ourselves small rewards when we accomplish tasks.
Research has shown that people are incredibly driven when rewards are put into the equation. In fact, according to a widely cited statistic from The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People by David Niven, one study found rewards account for 75% of our “personal motivation toward accomplishments.” Isn’t that fascinating?
If you feel that your intrinsic motivation is going low and if you’re finding it difficult to accomplish certain tasks, set a reward to give to yourself upon completion. It doesn’t matter if these rewards are big or small, but they should be something to look forward to. For example, if you finish writing two chapters of your book by the end of the month, promise yourself that you’ll treat yourself to something that has been your mind—a beautiful journal, a nice shirt/dress, a hiking trip, a massage, or a new kitchen gadget.
You can also leverage the power of these self-administered treats on an atomic scale to fuel your motivation on a given day. Here’s an example: Promise yourself that once you get three hours of focused work done, you’ll enjoy a delicious coffee beverage, watch an episode of your favorite sitcom, or take a 20-30 minute nap in the afternoon.
To put a spin on the old adage, “All work and no reward make for one unfocused and burnt-out superachiever.” So, if you’ve been working hard at crushing your professional goals but have been feeling unmotivated and exhausted lately, it’s time to start rewarding yourself for your little and big wins, and get back on the productivity train.