If you are like most people, you habitually set goals, make to-do lists and intend to get things done, but procrastination gets in your way.
We live in a world where productivity is valued above almost everything else. So, why do we find it so easy to plan and so difficult to follow through?
The proverbial idiom says that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and so indeed are our daily lives. We have unfinished books and projects littering our space. We have recipes we planned to try sticking to our refrigerators, but for some reason, we lack sufficient desire and determination to see many our plans to fruition. What keeps us from realizing so many of our goals?
The emotional spark that means the difference between finishing and never starting is motivation. Motivation is an internal feeling, or psychological phenomena, which leads to the activation of energy towards goals, it provides the emotional fuel that drives action. This mysterious element means the difference between binge-watching Netflix and getting to the gym. How can you boost motivation, and in turn productivity, when modern culture provides endless means of procrastinating?
The procrastination problem
Procrastination is the act of putting off tasks that need to get done. At best, it is an annoying tendency that keeps us from meeting our full potential, at worst it can be destructive and debilitating, leading to failure and frustration. First, let’s look at why we procrastinate. Typically, procrastination occurs when there is a task that needs to be completed that either difficult, boring, or overwhelming. Because the procrastinator doesn’t want to do the task, they find other, more enjoyable activities to engage in instead. So, how do we overcome procrastination and engage our motivation? The answer is simple, but not easy. First, identify the reason for procrastination, i.e. the task is dull, and then, overcome it in some way. Sometimes a task is not engaging and there isn’t anything you can do to make it engaging, but you can look at it realistically and try to have a more positive attitude about it. You can also employ motivation to shift your feelings. For example, you can treat yourself to ice cream after you complete a particularly unpleasant task. This reward may motivate you to get the job done.
Motivation leads to increased productivity and in turn greater satisfaction. There are two types of motivation; positive and negative. Different types of people require different factors to get motivated. Some are motivated by rewards, and some are motivated by fear. Positive motivation is reward or incentive based. The rewards may come in any number of forms: monetary, recognition, encouragement or praise, or a job promotion. Negative Motivation is based on fear. This motivation may come from fear of punishment, loss, or some other external threat.
Boost motivation and optimize productivity
- Reward yourself for accomplishment. Research has shown that the majority of what we do, we do for the rewards. When you are facing a challenging task, choose a reward to give yourself when you complete the task.
- Stay optimistic. Keeping a positive attitude can help keep motivation on track. Research even shows that optimism has a positive impact on motivation.
- Get a buddy. Peer pressure can be a great tool for boosting motivation. Let friends know about the goals you want to achieve and use that added level of accountability to keep yourself on track.
- Give yourself credit. Allow yourself the time to feel good about your accomplishments. This will help activate your motivation by providing you a reference for how achievement feels. If you successfully complete one task, you are more likely to accomplish new tasks. Self-efficacy grows with each goal reached.
About Behavioral Health Professionals, Inc.:
Established in 2002 and headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, BHPI is a Managed Behavioral Health Organization offering behavioral health services through a fully integrated network of world-class healthcare providers. Our emphasis is on adding value for our customers by offering expert behavioral care management, medical coordination, and behavioral disease and chronic behavioral condition management. BHPI offers collaborative solutions by building strong partnerships with health plans, health systems, community mental health organizations, and employer groups. For more information visit:BHPI.org