Can I Let the Monkey Win? Part II

What can we do to fit more tasks into the wonderful world in the overlap that is fun and productive? If you read my first post inspired by Tim Urban, here are the promised suggestions for making important things to do also easy and fun in the fight against procrastination.. We can make small changes to move things into the middle region:

  • Pick a career that you enjoy and practice it with heart. Then what you do to earn a living will also be enjoyable. Not every job we will have in our lifetime will be full of excitement. So, have patience and remind yourself of the expected rewards and better jobs ahead.
  • Maintain hobbies to learn and practice new skills that you enjoy. Just because it is not a part of your career and earning you money does not mean it is not productive. These hobbies can provide a change that can be relaxing and refreshing.
  • Find a friend or family member to do the work with you. The company will make it easier and more fun. Collaborate and conquer! Also, hang out with people that positively influence you to enjoy and do right by the things that are important to you. They can be key to motivation.
  • I like to dance but I am not a fan of cleaning, though I love seeing the results after I clean and organize my house and work area. So, I put on some dancing music and clean to the rhythm. It’s some good physical activity, I get a cleaner space, and I have fun while doing it.
  • One of the reasons video games are so addictive is the element of scoring or competing that is built into the game. And it sure feels good to be a winner, right? Studies show that scoring can actually be a healthy motivator. So, be your own scorekeeper and beat your own records or try to follow the record of someone you admire. For me, it is a big motivator to surpass my own prior records. I feel compelled to watch the score like in a video game and then work towards a better one (not obsessively). This strategy has motivated me to blog more often than I did before and focus on my personal financial planning.
  • Similar idea to above, maybe it is a race or you know you can be free of the task in a limited amount of time. Ever tried the Pomodoro technique? Set a time limit for productive focus and look forward to the self-promised rewarding break after that time is completed well. Start slow with lenient, shorter times and build on this. The routine can work really well if you get used to it.
  • When you do something good, reflect on the positive feelings it leaves you with. Like the wonderful appearance and smell of a freshly cleaned room or the satisfaction of hitting publish on a new post – these were two of my achievements for the day and it feels great. The more I dwell on these feelings, the more I am compelled to recreate them in the future.
  • Boredom is a state of mind. Do you agree? As I realized this, it has made some things more doable for me. Repetitive tasks have gone from being boring to meditatively relaxing for me. Some things that may be boring and do not require my full attention are accompanied by daydreaming (I might be writing a new post in my head). And inspiration comes when I give it the right time and environment.
  • Find a mentor. It is amazing what the right leadership can do. It can generate spectacular efforts and motivation. I have learned from my own reactions under leadership change that my motivation was greatly tied to being led or motivated by the right person. If you are not under the right person and cannot change that, you may have to try harder to make one of the other suggestions here work for you better.
  • Lastly, after all this hard work, you have earned the rest time so allocate it to yourself meaningfully. Then rejuvenation becomes a necessary and deserved part of the productive process. The monkey earns its treat.

Do you have any ideas that help to bring together productivity and fun? Please share the secrets to your success.



3 thoughts on “Can I Let the Monkey Win? Part II

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