OT: Help with motivation

David Vaughan dvk at dvkconsult.com.au
Tue Feb 22 21:18:59 CST 2005


On 23/02/2005, at 12:07, Thomas McGrath III <3mcgrath at adelphia.net> 
wrote:

> Hello listers,
>
> I hope this is not too far off topic.

Well, I suppose it is not about Rev but in every other respect it seems 
a pertinent topic ;-)
>
> I have been having problems getting myself motivated.
<snip>
> Any helpful ideas on how to jump start a project?

I was going to put my ideas down but recognised their common threads 
with other people's, so rather than the detail, my general approach is:
1. Remove the distractions, while doing something useful
2. Do **something** however trivial, just to get you rolling.

On the first, I often do a desk cleanup because it tends to clutter as 
my ideas accumulate and I clear it as a metaphor for re-ordering my 
thoughts. Like Richard, I go for a walk to get some physical energy you 
can never acquire sitting there. I elaborately prepare for work by 
making sure I am physically comfortable, have the right music, relax 
over a coffee or something. Read the paper. Do all the minor things 
until you run out of them and am confronted with the fact you have to 
start somewhere.
On the second, Jacque and others had it pretty right. The first part of 
getting yourself moving and doing trivial tasks (or taking an active 
break) should enable you to start on a minor or non-crucial part of the 
job. Alternatively, sketch the crucial part to prove to yourself you 
have an overview of it. Communicate with someone else what it is you 
are up to and what small part you will be doing next. Take another 
break. Soon, you will not be able to resist going back to the task.

In fact, this discussion makes me wonder whether writers' block is not 
a mild form of depression, before the manic creative phase perhaps. At 
a client site (a rehabilitation service) last Friday I was idly reading 
(i.e. bored with discussion) on their conference room wall a poster on 
depression. I just checked my recollection with my contact there. It 
said:
Breathe
Prioritise
Exercise
Communicate
Take a break
Do one thing at a time
Stay positive

Sounds a bit similar, doesn't it?

regards
David
>
> Thanks
>
> Tom



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