Activation energy: the chemistry of getting started

In chemistry, activation energy is the energy that must be provided to result in a chemical reaction. The more energy is needed, the harder it is to start the chemical reaction. In work and life as well, we sometimes need to get over the initial hump of getting started. For instance, it can be hard …

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Motivation beyond money

Why do you get up in the morning? What drives you to work, create, and connect with people? Many traditional models of motivation argue human beings are mostly driven by rewards—whether financial, material, or social—or by fear of punishment. At work, money is often used as a productivity driver. But author Daniel Pink suggests a …

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The ten minute rule of productivity

In the UK, the Ten Minute Rule allows a backbench member of parliament—one that is neither part of the government nor the opposition—to make their case for a new bill in a speech lasting up to ten minutes. After the ten minutes have passed, another MP may speak for a further ten minutes to oppose …

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SMART goals are not so smart: make a PACT instead

A system without a goal is like a marathon without a finish line. But a system with a bad goal will result in a bad outcome. Traditional goal-setting methods use the SMART framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Sounds great for small, short-term goals, but not so much for ambitious, long-term …

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Turning push goals into pull goals

Let’s say you want to become a published author. You have this clear objective you want to achieve, and decide on a game plan to get there. You read about the stories of other authors, you make a list of publishers to reach out to, you think about ways you could get an agent. You …

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The 3 components of motivation

Most of us have goals we want to accomplish. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Sometimes it feels easy to get the work done, and sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated and we procrastinate. Fundamentally motivation is the desire to act and move towards a specific goal. It often explains why humans act—or don’t—in a …

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Building intrinsic motivation

Earlier today, I received a very touching message from a dad. “Thank you for everything you do. You’re an inspiration and I’ve started to introduce my daughter to your work. I want her to grow up knowing strong women are doing amazing things.” An awesome dad on the Internet. Reading this made me feel incredibly …

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