Much of human behavioral psychology can be explained by the simple phrase “behavior that is rewarded is repeated.”
This is true for the people you hire and even when you reward yourself for your own behavior. To accomplish more right here, right now, identify in advance a “reward” that you’ll bestow upon yourself for completing a desired task.
You Don’t Have to Go All Out
The reward may be as simple as making a phone call. It might be taking a stroll around the block. It could be checking emails, having a cup of herbal tea, totaling up your earnings for the last quarter, or any other small, favorable event. Dr. Aubrey Daniels, in his book Bringing Out the Best in People, calls this the Grandma Principle — scheduling a reward following a good performance. As Grandma would say, you don’t get to eat your ice cream until you eat your spinach!
If you’re facing an unpleasant task, it makes sense to follow that up with something you enjoy doing, instead of the other way around.
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