Just Freaking Do it Already
Time to put your thinking cap on – we’re hacking motivation!
How much time have you spent thinking about writing that email? Thinking about writing that blog post? Think about doing a webinar?
STOP……Wait… I mean GO!
When it comes to success, there is one key component that may be more important than talent, intelligence, money, or connections.
Motivation. Doing what you know you need to do rather than thinking it to death.
You won’t reach your goals or meet your self-imposed deadlines by thinking about it. You need to take action.
Unfortunately, that fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment stops us from fulfilling our goals and accomplishing our dreams.
We all have lists of things we hope to accomplish. (It’s not just me, right?)
These lists contain big goals, daily tasks, and everything in between. Learning how to increase your motivation will boost the likelihood of achieving your goals.
We’re hacking the science of motivation to harness it.
An Improved Approach to Motivation
Author Dan Pink writes in his best-selling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, that the there are three components of motivation that compel individuals to get things done.
Carrots and sticks type of reward system doesn’t work on us. We are too smart or stubborn for that.
Instead, Pink argues that by understanding the factors that tangibly affect motivation, we can then develop strategies to increase it.
Triad of Motivation
The three elements of motivation Pink discusses in his book are autonomy, value, and competence. It is these components, according to researchers, that drive people to become motivated.
Autonomy is the amount of control or independence you feel over a task or action. It has been shown that when you feel that you have a significant amount of input regarding that task, you are more likely to follow through to completion.
Value is the amount of personal significance or importance you place on a matter. If something matters to you, you’re more motivated to accomplish it.
Competence derives from your mastery. Mastery is developed through patience, practice, and hard work. If you dedicate your time to developing competence toward a goal, it is likely that you’ll achieve it.
Strategies to Increase Motivation
Now that you have an understanding of what matters most with regard to what motivates us, it’s time to consider some strategies to increase motivation.
Using the concept of autonomy as a guide, let’s consider ways to add a sense of control or involvement into activities that need to be completed.
One way to do this is to take ownership of a chore or add some aspect of self-direction to it. If you are having difficulty starting a blog post, then it may help to think of all the ways doing so will set you apart as an expert in that subject.
To add value to your task, you want to make it meaningful or personal. Find a way to add purpose to that item on your to-do list. This involves changing your perspective or the way you look at that item. Managing your income and expenses is a chore but if done daily it is much easier than trying to get all of the paperwork done at the end of the year!
Competence Requires Practice
Look at the task as one step in your journey towards mastery. For instance, if you think of your treadmill as a workout partner, you’ll soon see it less as an adversary and complete more workouts. Along with the primary goal of getting fit, workouts become easier, and you gain the feeling of accomplishment.
Motivation is not always easy to come by. We’ve all had days we just didn’t want to do whatever needed to be done to accomplish our goals. That is perfectly normal but you need to ask yourself, “Am I willing to do what I need to do right now to accomplish what I want to achieve?”