Sometimes sitting down to work can be hard. You’re feeling uninspired and unmotivated. I get that. Like everyone else I’m struggling with these feelings of dread. Even when I know that I actually enjoy the act when I finally push myself to start!

There are a ton of different approaches to push yourself to get going though. Today we’re taking a look at rewards.

A reward includes anything that you gain when you’re doing whatever you have to do. You can go ahead and promise yourself a reward for finishing the task and work in your own favor that way.

Everyday Incentives

The goal with rewards is not to break the bank or to promise yourself some huge unproportional things, but to add small incentives to get you going. They don’t have to cost a dime and they don’t even have to take up a lot of time. They can be a walk outside in the warm autumn sun or sitting down for a hot cup of cocoa.

Since I’m a lover of lists I suggest you sit down and make one that includes those nice activities that fill you up with joy, but that you don’t allow yourself to do on a daily basis. Maybe you enjoy taking baths, or you like to read for entertainment, or you crave some time for baking. Whatever it is, write it down so you can consult your list when you plan your activities.

I like to use these activities for completing my goals for the day and sometimes even for a single task if I especially dread doing it. I’m trying to find a balance between work and rewards. My daily tasks are typically broken down into 1-2h chunks and while I take a moment to appreciate the completion of a chunk, I don’t want to spend the next two hours baking a cake. The proportion would be off.

Weekly Bonus

Aside from having daily incentives for completing my tasks, I also like to have a bonus for completing everything I’ve set out to do in a week. For these weekly rewards I’m using bigger incentives that may even cost something like going to the cinema or eating out (since I’m usually always cooking at home, going out to eat is a treat). They can be anything you can afford and that you’d really look forward to. Watching a movie, buying a sweater, going apple picking or getting a manicure. For me even taking a hike or flying a kite is an enormous joy and doesn’t even cost much if anything at all.

Again, I’d suggest you write down your bigger rewards as well and add things along the way whenever you think of something.

Goal Accomplishment

The third category that I’m rewarding is accomplishing a goal of mine. My goals are typically quite ambitious and take a lot of work, like finishing a book or building this blog. Having some sort of reward adds to my celebration of the accomplishment. These can be quite indulging and it needs the completion of a goal to make me feel worthy of getting it, like a weekend trip to a city I want to see or visiting an expensive concert. Of course you do have to keep your financial situation in mind, I don’t want anyone to go into debt for this!

Intrinsic Motivation

A different kind of rewards I want to talk about are the ones you might overlook if you don’t pay attention. I’m talking about your gain from doing the work itself.

I do hope that you’re working towards a specific goal, because if you do, getting closer to your goal is a reward in itself. Human beings thrive on progress. If you know where you are on the road to your goal, you’ll feel a rush of joy and motivation whenever you get a step closer.

Sometimes it does take conscious effort to be aware of your journey. I know from my own experiences that it’s all too easy to not acknowledge your own progress. It does take intention to celebrate your accomplishments. The benefits are well worth it though. You’re feeling more confident and fulfilled, energetic and motivated. You’re working on your goals and dreams after all!

Another benefit comes from actually doing the work. Our life here on earth is a continuous journey and if we approach our life with curiosity and the intention to learn and grow, everything is a valuable experience. Every action you take is an opportunity to grow. Yes, writing a first draft takes time and dedication, but in the writing process you improve your craft and you learn about the elements of a story. You get to know your characters better, be lost in another world and improve your problem solving abilities along the way. Yes, editing your first draft can be labor intensive and frustrating, but you’ll also learn to spot problems faster and figure out how to write better conversations and descriptions. With time and practice everything becomes easier.

Having a reward you’re looking for is a nice way to get yourself going. Combining it with an intention to learn and grow before you start and a small appreciation and celebration when completing a task makes it all the more worthwhile.

What are your own experiences with getting yourself motivated to do the work? Let us know 🙂

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