So I decided to blog more, since one fundamental ability that was failing for me was partially communication the last couple of years (other topic in this series btw!). Along that, I decided it’d be more interesting if I write about everything that’s important to me, even if that means some entries will be non technical. Hope you’ll enjoy reading anyway!
‘How to change the world‘ sounds a bit high level, but everyone with high ambitions in his personal and business life is likely to share a common vision of wanting to work on something that makes a significant impact. To start off, it could of course also be read as ‘How to change yourself to change the world‘. The first entry in this series, and the most important one of all is motivation. But let’s first explain the order of how things work.
The productivity cycle
Being productive is something many people can’t grasp easily. There are however a couple of directions to follow, and I personally call it the productivity cycle. I’ll go into detail for each of these in subsequent blog posts.
- Motivation (today’s topic)
Very quick explanation: Before you can even start to work on anything, you have to be inspired. When you are inspired, you have to become really motivated to start working on it, and then you need dedication to stay on focus and do the job. After a couple hours, you need a recreation phase to start over with the whole process, but before that, make sure you communicate today’s work with your boss, comrades, coworkers to maximize the impact (sometimes you can leave out inspiration and motivation on the next cycles for a couple days).
People who truly internalize those fundamentals can solve more tasks in 4 hours than a ‘normal’ worker could finish in 12. Even better, the guru won’t be exhausted mentally. Obviously, it’s a long way, but if you get today’s topic right, chances are that the others will come to you automatically.
That being said, off all things, motivation is the trickiest to master. You know it yourself. Even if you really love your job, you’re only motivated randomly, and it comes and goes. And when you’re not motivated, everything seems to take longer. Wait – it doesn’t seem to take longer, it does take longer! It happens to me all the time: I have this great idea (->Inspiration), I start working on it, get distracted, and the motivation’s gone. At that point, I still enjoy the original idea, but somehow my killer energy is gone. Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, all hope is not lost my friend!
Set a goal
If you don’t know your goal, you’re drifting and chances are you’ll circle around with your efforts and thoughts. If you have a great inspiration and a following idea, set yourself a uber nice but realistic goal, best with an attached date. Deadlines generate pressure, but no deadlines make you idle – the first is always preferable.
Make sure the outcome justifies the effort
Only very few people like to work on projects just for the sake of their own satisfaction, most likely you have a greater objective. In many cases it’s money, but it can also be reputation, fame, power or the greater good. Whatever works for you, but make sure thinking about the possible outcome makes you feel great – it’s a motivational key factor.
Enlightening your office enlightens your thoughts
This one is a very practical advice. Most living beings, including humans, need light, preferably sunlight (with more ‘blue‘ in it) to stay awake and feel comfortable. Scientists have proven already the receptors that fire off when light reaches our eyes stop the production of the sleep inducing hormone melantonin. But even if you forget science, light is, like fire, one of the greatest phenomena for all cultures. It gives us security and warmth, and it often stands as a symbol for intelligence. So start using it!
I can’t stress this one enough, being the most useful resource of all. Talk to people that likely want to listen to your ideas. It could be your wife, your children, your collegues or you best friend. Meet all those people before you start a big project, and encourage them to participate in a discussion. You will receive positive and negative critism, doubt and more inspirations, but most often they’ll back you up and encourage you. Even better, it works for the inspirational part of the productivity cycle as well. Remember those times when you met a former collegue for dinner and got your brain spinning again? It’s no coincidence. Inspiration through communication will be discussed in detail when we cover the topic.
Keep being motivated
So you’re motivated now. Excellent! The next step is to keep being motivated, or how I call it in the productivity cycle, dedication. It’s the next topic I will cover, along with the first missing piece – how do you actually find out what you’d like to do (read inspiration). See you soon!