Motivating The Toughest Person In The Room – Yourself

Motivating Indrek

Sometimes the inner smile wants to get out

It’s the natural course of life that when you’ve been going at twice the speed limit, you have to pull over every now and again. While speeding, you probably felt so invincible that you had forgotten all about the brakes and the slower moving objects around you. When the slowdown happens, though, you might feel uncomfortable and a little lost. It’s absolutely normal to have slower periods. Everyone has them, even Usain Bolt. And you might not believe it, but it is actually a good thing. Often the slower period is the perfect time to step back and reflect on all the speeding you did before.

The question on everybody’s mind is, how to get going again or how to get started with something new after you’ve pulled over? In such cases, I like to say “Think big, but execute small”. What this means is that you should definitely be ambitious and dream big, but big things can be difficult to execute all in one go. Cutting big projects to smaller steps will make them feel more achievable and give you more positive emotions more frequently. This is because you complete tasks more often. What I have done is set some rules for myself like “I will do just one ticket a day” or “I will read one chapter a day”. What this does is that it puts strict frames around the tasks and assures me that when this part is done, I am progressing. Every small success gives me a positive boost to go forward. From my own experience, I can say that I rarely stick to the plan. I am almost never able to stop at the one ticket and often only stop coding when I really can’t code anymore (you know when you wake up and realize that the keyboard isn’t a very good pillow). If I would plan that “Hey I’m going to code for 4 hours in the evening”, I would be thinking about it the whole day and would feel exhausted even before I started the task.

One other trick I like to play on myself is the “Game of prizes”. I did this mostly in my college days. I would reward myself with a prize after every big or small success. I really loved the Kinder Maxi King chocolate, and surely, if I had one in my hand, it meant that I had just scored on some test or completed an assignment. Actually it was the only time I ever bought the chocolaty sweetness.

The start of the New year is always a good time to think about the year that passed and the year to come. This year I would like to advise you to start slow and steady, so that afterwards you could move faster than ever before.

So Think Big, Execute Small.

By On January 7, 2014

  1. Great advice! Will share this with my co-workers who are always going full speed ahead. Also great advice about rewarding yourself for my college student to get him motivated. He often tends to go well below the speed limit and needs a boost.

    • Hi Debbie, good to hear you found this story useful. Often people feel guilty when slowing down because they feel that everyone else is not. That misconception can create a lot of stress. This stress can cause person to eventually burn out. That’s why it’s good to step back to step forward.

  2. Indrek, this was great advice! I approached this same subject during a Leadership staff meeting this morning, and shared the link to your blog (hope you don’t mind). Closest “junkie” or not, you have great insight. Thanks for sharing with all of us:)

  3. Thanks, Indrek. I was just getting worn out from speeding too fast when I saw your blog. Now, I know how to get back to work after I take a short, much needed, break.

    • Think of this little break as the pause between shifting gears. I’m sure you’ll go much faster after the pause. Best of luck to you Sid.