Motivation Strategies (cont)

April 16, 2003

Strategy 3: Finishing at the Peak

The strategy is simply to set an hour limit when tackling tasks you usually don’t enjoy.

If you are only going to spend an hour doing a certain task, you don’t need to spend three hours avoiding it. You also boost your chances of enjoying the task.”This strategy is about finishing at the peak of an experience and is based on the belief that you can do anything for an hour,” Gaby explains.

Gaby has used this technique to motivate herself to write follow up letters – something she hates – and to excite trainees about making “cold” sales calls.

She explains that while people waste a lot of time getting started on a job they dislike, they find it very manageable – even enjoyable – once they establish a rhythm and “get on a roll”.

By setting a time limit of one hour, she says, you finish the activity on a “high” and find you are glad to return to it next time around.

Strategy 4: The power role models

This is where you identify a person who is successful at something you want to achieve and you model your behavior on theirs by finding out their success strategies.

You can read up on the person, meet them through a professional group or simply make a direct approach.

If you decide to approach the person Gaby advises doing so by email or a letter so they can refuse. Suggest a short meeting and be specific about what you hope to learn.

Research the person’s interests so you can add something of value to their life in return for their advice.

After meeting the person, send them a thank you explaining how you put their advice into action.

Another method is to read books written by or about successful people such as The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Steven R Covey; You Don’t Have To Be Born Brilliant: How To Design A Magnificent Life by Australian John McGrath; Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins and The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield.

Strategy 5: Turn learning into action

Buying books and attending seminars is an excellent way of exposing yourself to new ideas but real learning begins when you put knowledge into action, says Gaby.

“To get out of being a student of life, my strategy is to put three of the things that I have learnt from a particular seminar or book into action before I buy one more book or attend one more seminar,” she says.

Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to for more career related articles. Job hunting and workplace questions can be directed to CareerOne by emailing:

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