REWARD YOURSELF: the crucial phase of the Cycle of Productivity
You may read this and now be thinking that this sounds rather obvious and that you do this all the time.
However, do you consciously reflect on what you have achieved and then give yourself a reward?
We tend to get in the habit of getting stuck in one of the parts of what is known as our Cycle of Productivity:
i.e. the starting point (creating, so we have loads of ideas and never do anything about them),
the Doing part (do you do, do, do and never take a break or finish anything?)
or the Finishing phase (do you get stuck and as a results have loads of unfinished tasks lying around at home and at work?).
However, by the time we finish a task, we often omit the last segment in successful productivity, the Reward and go straight back to the beginning and start all over again.
This is common. For example, most of my clients find it very difficult to think of a reward as a final strategy to achieving their goal.
This final phase, giving ourselves a Reward and stopping to acknowledge ourselves for our achievements is extremely important. It gives us the incentive to complete tasks, especially big projects and the ones we would rather not do. Miss it out and you will find yourself running on empty, exhausted and never feeling satisfied. Also, you fail to take advantage of the learning opportunities that reflection on a completed activity will reveal.
So, as a suggestion, start to create a new, positive, success-inducing habit for yourself. Give yourself a reward for something that you accomplish TODAY.
Really enjoy that cup of tea, the evening’s social activity, treat yourself to a more expensive toiletry brand that signifies ‘Well done’ or whatever it is, that allows you to take stock and pat yourself on the back. What reward can you put in place for when you have achieved a bigger, long-term project?
You will then discover that when you are back at the starting point again, whether it is a new assignment or tomorrow’s TO DO list, you will start refreshed and full of energy and find it easier to be motivated and gain momentum.