Knowing our work helps others

Knowing our work helps others

When we know that our work will make a difference to someone else, it makes us work harder. 

Try to reach out to the people who directly benefit from your work. This could boost your motivation to work hard.

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Motivation and creative work

Intrinsic motivation is necessary for creative work. We need broad thinking, so we can come up with innovative ideas and see new connections.

Extrinsic motivation narrows our thinking by focusing on getting the task done so we can earn the reward. It's providing you an external incentive to work hard.

Loss aversion refers to the fact that we feel stronger emotions about losing something than we do about gaining the same thing.

For example: If you found $20 on the ground, you'd be pretty happy. But if you had $20 in your wallet and lost it, you'd be really unhappy.

The 3 elements required for intrinsic motivation:

  • Autonomy: it's about choice - when you believe you have a choice, you're more motivated.
  • Mastery: it's about wanting to get better at something that matters.
  • Purpose: it comes from believing you're working on something that's bigger than yourself.

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RELATED IDEAS

Two types of motivation

Motivation is categorized into two basic types: Extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic motivation is related to external forces like money or fame.
  • Intrinsic motivation is something that comes from within like joy or pride.

Daniel Pink on Incentives and the Two Types of Motivation

fs.blog

If you are trying to lose weight and reward yourself with a pizza every time you complete a milestone, the hard work is likely to be undone soon. Achievement of goals is not an incentive for indulgence.

How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It

hbr.org

Focus on the small improvements

Doing more in less time is not the ultimate solution to productivity. It's the path to burnout.

Productivity rests more on small improvements. By focusing on the small things, the big things will take care of themselves.

Why big changes happen when you focus on small improvements

zapier.com

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