On getting things done

What SMALL STEP can motivate others and yourself to complete tasks

Imagine this:
In one sunny day (very possible in Belfast) you and your friend meet up for a coffee. After you order and pay for your drinks, the waiter hands you a loyalty card and explains to you that every time you buy a cup of coffee they will stamp your card. Once you have collected your ten stamps you can claim a free cup of coffee. You take the card from the waiter and notice that he has already stamped your card twice to get you on your way toward that free cup of coffee.
The progress you have now made toward your free cup of coffee could be framed on one of two ways:
a) 20% of the way toward achieving that free cup of coffee
b) you have 80% remaining.
Which one is more likely to motivate you to complete the task?
It turns out that the answer is not relevant just to a coffee shop owner looking to influence his customers to be more loyal, but to anyone else interested in themselves and others to complete tasks.
(By the way, you already read 10% of this newsletter)

Influence researchers Minjung Koo and Ayelet Fishbach thought that an individual’s motivation to complete a task could be improved by making a small change in where they focused their attention.
They found out that, at the beginning of a task, getting individuals to concentrate on the smaller amount of progress they had already made toward a goal would be more motivating than focusing on the larger amount of effort that remained.

One reason for this is because in the early stages of a task, focusing on the smaller number appeals to the human desire to behave as efficiently as possible. An action that moves someone from 20% completion of a task to 40% completion has doubled their progress –  which seems like a very efficient action indeed.

As a result, if you are a manager or supervisor, keen to keep your staff motivated to reach the sales goals or performance targets, in order to maintain the early motivation high is to provide feedback on the staff’s progress: “You’re only one week into the new quarter and you’ve already achieved 15% of your quarterly target!”

If you are just a person trying to save money regularly to buy a new definition TV or a new sunny holiday, you can improve your commitment to your financial plans by focusing on the SMALL but important progress you already made.

If you are keen to motivate yourself to get through that 60 minutes Gym, or a Spinning Class, a focus on the time or distance endured in the early stages before transferring to the time or distance remaining toward the end could help get you through such challenges. Alternatively to add momentum to your personal weight-loss program or smoking abstinence, emphasize the weight you’ve already lost or days without cigarettes in the very early stages before directing attention to weight still needed to be lost or smoke-free days left to reach your desired goal.

When we change the way we think, the way we make sense of the world, requires a lot of commitment and effort to do so and most importantly a lot of time. We cannot change our belief over night!
It is a very beautiful negotiation game that we play inside our heads between our new goals and our old, automatic, very impulsive mind.

SMALL tips for BIG changes:

1) Admit that is a game, so give it curiosity, time and don’t give up

2) Be patient! – it takes time and practice like any other muscle

3) Start with win-win situation – by changing the way we frame our progress and goals, we gain better mental agility, we improve focus, task-motivation and confidence in achieving the results we wanted.

That’s it, you just finished reading 95% of this newsletter.

By now, you remembered how important is to see the ‘glass half full’ of any progress toward any goals you established this year.

You need fuel to achieve your yearly goals. Go quickly and grab a pen and paper, review the objectives you established for this year and count our progress the way show    n above! Well done you:)

This month we are happy to announce an event about negotiation in the workplace. Go and grab your tickets now, click here

I wish you a very productive week, the first month of the year went very well!

Have a happy Day!


Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching

Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

2 thoughts on “On getting things done

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