Why rewards are so important!
Chapter 3 from the CHANGE JOURNAL »
In this journal, the art of procrastination is tackled from different perspectives when it comes to doing unpleasant tasks. I want to show you how to trick your weaker self with a little bonus easily.
Many of the tasks we face must be for matters of obligation or being reasonable. But despite all insight, we ask ourselves (consciously or subconsciously): What's in it for me? What's the point? Is it worth the effort? These questions are nothing more than the desire to receive a reward – preferably one that provides instant gratification. The frustrating truth about most tasks you undertake is that they usually don't come with any reward, and certainly not an instant one.
Things that you leave undone disappear. And if something is not there, you don't see it. I've eliminated a bad habit if I no longer pick my nose. But no one praises me for it – praise in the absence of criticism seems pretty silly.
Another example: I cleaned my windows today because the streaks annoyed me, but the feeling of successfully finishing the job quickly disappeared.
One more example: Although I'm scared of going to the dentist, I know I should still go regularly. When I can say, "He didn't even have to drill!" it is not a terribly great reward in itself. It was only reasonable to see him again. It isn't exactly what you would think of as motivation. Isn't there some other kind of motivation that isn't based on reasonability alone?
The answer is yes, such a thing exists. Just reward yourself!
It's up to you to choose how and with what. Because the principle is the same as when you were a child: The reward doesn't necessarily need to have something to do with the task itself. What matters is that it makes you happy. You should play Candy Crush once for every window you've cleaned.
And after having seen the dentist, you'll allow yourself a shopping spree. If you want to motivate yourself – treat yourself with a reward! Just make sure that the reward makes sense!
- It should be in proportion to the task. Rewarding yourself with an extended vacation for twenty sit-ups would be exaggerated.
- It should be realistic and within reach. Nothing is worse than getting the task done – only to discover that you won't receive the promised reward.
- Your reward must not contradict the principle of the task. Don't reward yourself with a chocolate bar if you want to lose weight.
- Rewards should not be used in an inflationary way. If it becomes more significant, better, and expensive, it will no longer have the desired effect after a while.
And always remember: Acknowledge the task itself! Progress and achieved goals are already rewards in themselves. If you do more sports, what could be better than having improved your fitness?
To overcome critical moments, it's always good to have some ideas for small, medium, and big rewards – good luck!