Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's as Simple as That

I hear it often enough. If you want to get something accomplished...just do it. That sounds simple enough. Just get up, grab the bull by the horns and go for a ride. Yeah! That's just how it works. NOT!

So how is motivation to just getting up and getting the job (whatever it may be) done created? By getting up and getting started. Taking the first step. Agreeing that working for a set period of time and then you can be done is all that is needed. But then comes the question, what is it that will motivate my first step? What is it that motivates me to get started? In reality, it is not the same for all. What may motivate me to get the house in top notch order is that I know I will be having visitors soon, or the motivation to keep my grades updated daily is that there are parents that watch as every grade is made available online. But you know, as I have worked to create routines in my everyday life, much of what I do is no longer motivated by what other people are expecting from me, but more from the habits that my routines have developed. These habits have made living in my home, or working within my career much more pleasant as I have a time set to get things done.

I have also been better at learning to delegate. Letting go of control is not an easy feat. I have to remind myself that the world would not end if I did not exist and that things can be done well enough in ways that are not "my" way. One thing I have learned is that you can't delegate what you don't already have under control. I have to jump in to get the area at a level in which I would like it to be maintained, with or without some help. I also have learned that we do a service to our children to teach them by working alongside of them as they are learning a chore. Once they have proven competency then they can work under less close supervision, but I think I need to be doing something of equal contribution to the family and not simply off enjoying a cup of tea and reading a novel or surfing the web. The older boys in my house have learned to team up in just about every chore they have so the job will go more quickly, usually to get out the door or off to a shared activity.

So all motivation, I believe, comes from habits, and habits come from routines. Those things that are not done routinely are usually done to make the routines go more smoothly, or the motivation comes from going through the routines and just seeing what needs to be done next.When the routines stop, it all seems to stall out. Instilling motivation in others comes by sharing the chores and making it a team effort.

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