Thermoforming Report

Creating Habits to Motivate

The Harvard Business Review article, “How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It,” by Ayelet Fishbach, is great! It highlights the psychology that happens when we humans need to motivate ourselves. As the owner of a small business for 5 years (where did the time go?!?), I definitely get it. Growing up with Kimberly-Clark Corporation, I was very fortunate to work with and for some great people in a great organization. I learned a lot and it truly set me up for what was to come next in my career.

Breaking it down via the author’s sections:

  • Design Goals, Not Chores – I loved this section! There is a lot of churn and chores in everyone’s roles. Avoid falling into that trap and set goals for yourselves. They may feel mundane but there is always some level of satisfaction when you can check something complete!
  • Find Effective Rewards – very interesting insights! It is as much about rewards as it is penalties that drive us. Not that this is terribly new information – the carrot and stick theory has been around for a long time. Even so, the idea of driving and pushing to avoid having to do [enter your own negative thing] is worthy of implementing.
  • Sustain Progress – the doldrums of the middle. Man I fight this! The recruiting industry typically wanes in the summer due to vacations, essentially making it tough to get the right people scheduled to keep everything moving forward. Staying motivated and pushing through can be challenging. Break it down in smaller chunks and then work both ends like the article highlighted is great advice.
  • Harness the Influence of Others – this can be done if you are in a big company on a big team or an individual contributor working solo. There is always someone to compare against! Make sure you know how to balance that comparison to stay motivated and push through versus getting discouraged.

As the author highlights, this is just another skill that can be learned. As a Stephen Covey 7-Habits guy myself, it is a skill that must also be “sharpened” (habit #7). Skills can fade if they are not regularly worked out and practiced. Creating the right habits can and will help across the board when tough things hit or if boredom/chores/grinding activities are in full force. Invest the time to learn and practice these skills and stay motivated!

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