|A scheduled break.|
One of the more demoralizing aspects of most jobs is that it seems that the work is endless. It just keeps coming with no end in sight! Even thinking about that fact makes me squirm a little bit. So, in order to avoid going all cra-cra it helps me to set scheduled work-bouts followed by a scheduled break, or some other reward, for a job-well-done. Knowing that I have something to look forward to (in my case, some time to goof-off) makes me much more likely to stay focused.
Task: Reward yourself for predetermined lengths of focused work.
Info: Depending on my level of motivation, I typically settle on either half-hour or hour-long bouts of work followed by 10-15min bouts of fun. This strategy is most useful for tasks that are really hard to get started, like long, written documents. When I promise myself a break after a certain amount of work, I'm much more likely to get started because I know the pain won't last forever! The more nasty the task is, the shorter the work periods and the longer the break periods should be in order to overcome the inertia of getting started. Finally, stick to your break schedule! Even if you're in the zone, I'm of the opinion that working for longer that promised causes some amount of self-resentment. Instead, take the scheduled break and make the next work-period a little longer.
Goal: Get started on an onerous task using a reward as a motivator.
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