Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation

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Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation

Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation

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£9.9 FREE Shipping

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Rewards and punishments motivate action by creating immediate mini-goals to your main goal. Let’s go and grab a coffee at your favorite coffee spot for this little example. How much is your latte these days, or your flat white or whatever else you like? Does your inside voice tell you: this is too much? Many, many books have been written about goal setting and productivity- more than I can count. It's a popular topic because in our hyper-productive world we all are trying to get more done in less time. It's the sacred cow of productivity that people from housewives to CEO's aspire to, and I have no problem with it as long as there's still room for family, fun, and balance. We waste a lot of our lives pursuing things half-heartedly or giving up before reaching our goals, so books like Get It Done can be very helpful in cutting through the BS and helping us focus on what matters. P74 “all-or-nothing goals” i.e. a college degree vs. accumulative goals” i.e. working out 5x per week or reading 20 books this year P100 “While most people are enthusiastic and conscientious at the beginning and at the end of goal pursuit, in the middle, both the motivation to get it done and the motivation to do it right tend to suffer.” set positive goals, as opposed to “do not do” goals; avoidance goals are chores that lead to thought suppression

Maybe you’ve also pulled yourself through a major life change before, like ending an unhealthy relationship or switching careers. All of these are things that need to get done, even when motivating yourself to do them can be tough. Goals, like recipes, tend to work best when they’re quantified. Setting a target that’s challenging, measurable, and actionable will pull you toward your goal and enable you to monitor your progress. Just make sure, you’re the one to set the target rather than someone else. Because that’s going to help you be more committed. P40 “According to the dilution principle,” the more goals, including incentives, a single activity serves, the more weakly we associate the activity with our central goal and the less instrumental the activity seems for this goal.” When you set a goal for yourself – especially if it’s one you don’t necessarily think is super fun to begin with, like work or exercise or vacuuming – you need to make sure you can find some fun aspect in it. Because if you’re having fun, then you’re intrinsically motivated, which in turn leads to success. There are, of course, exceptions. Like, what if you’ve been procrastinating on breaking up your relationship? It’s hard to find the fun in that. But keep in mind how it may make you feel in the long run. Maybe you’ll feel freer, maybe you’ll stop hurting yourself or your partner. So, in situations where it’s hard to find joy in a task, just remember why you want to do something and associate the positive outcomes with it in your mind. P165 “Being reminded of your future self puts you in a very broad decision frame. Whatever decision you make today, you should be able to envision making it again and again over many years. So instead of asking yourself whether it’s okay to procrastinate, cheat, smoke, or drink today, you should ask yourself whether it’s okay to do so for the rest of your life. Multiplying a small temptation by the number of times you would succumb to it in the course of your life will surely make it too large to ignore.”

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goals are powerful tools and, as such, they should be handled with care; powerful goals pull you to new heights Trying to stay motivated and make serious progress in whatever you’re trying to achieve in life can sometimes feel like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s a simple fix – and it just so happens to be in your control. It all starts with changing your circumstances. Most importantly, you need to define your goals. You need to pay attention to maintaining momentum, stay focused when you’ve got a billion other things on your plate and get your friends and family involved. And when you make your behavior and environment work for rather than against you, your goal of getting that raise, or that strong healthy body, or that tax return form sorted, or that new language learned, will be yours in no time!

Here’s another example. Imagine you’re doing yoga. You’re at home, on your mat. And while you’re in downward dog you come eye to eye with a giant dust ball. Maybe that’s the last straw. Maybe it’s at this point that you realize it’s actually been forever since you’ve last cleaned. And so, you get up and whip out the vacuum cleaner. Right. Now. In this case, your sense of falling behind ended up motivating action. I want to say I learned something from this book but it was just so heavy-handed with the numerous theories in the end that I doubt I will remember hardly anything coming month or two. And few pearls of wisdom I decided to commit to memory were pushed out by the heavy-handed serving of superfluous information later on. So I think if this book aimed to teach long-term it missed the goal on this. Achievable goals are framed positively, as a behavior to do, rather than as the avoidance or suppression of a behavior (which is harder). When I was a fencer, my coach explained how we should encourage our teammates from the side of the strip in a similar way: shout "Keep going!" rather than "Don't stop!"—because for the latter, they'll only hear "stop!" Whether starting a new diet, running a marathon, or gunning for a promotion, Get It Done illuminates invaluable strategies for propelling yourself in whatever direction you want to go—so you can achieve your goals while staying healthy, clear-headed, and happy.

Review

But we want to keep things exciting. And to do that, try to embrace uncertainty and hit pause on your incentives now and then. I’m just saying: take a break. Breathe. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Hitting pause will also help confirm that you’re pursuing your goal for your goal’s sake – and that you’re not doing it for the incentive alone. P149 our draw to “middle options” as compromises can be exploited by adding artificially expensive options. Setting the goal in the first place is perhaps the most obvious one, but as Fishbach explains, there are many ways in which people tend to get it wrong. One step we can take in goal setting is to focus on aligning our goals to our own intrinsic motivation. P170 “It’s important…that you correctly judge the strength of the temptations you’ll face. As long as your expectations are well calibrated, you’ll be prepared to fight temptation off.”

Despite my critiques, I did walk away from the book with a few good reminders and a couple new ideas to ponder about motivation, which I guess is what I was really looking for. As an example, there's a chapter dedicated to the "middle problem" where motivation, focus and even ethical standards tend to decrease in that ordinary uninteresting period between the beginnings and endings of goals. It was a good reminder that long "middles" can be detrimental to success, and it got me rethinking the timeline and scope of some of my upcoming goals. Read: How to Procrastinate Less by Increasing Your Motivation and Decreasing Temptations) Leveraging intrinsic motivation for goals

Get It Done (2022) turns the spotlight on the person that’s often hardest to influence: you. Drawing on anecdotes and research from motivation science, it shows how modifying your circumstances can propel you forward both personally and professionally – even when you feel lost at sea. Genres This type of approach doesn’t only apply to summiting a mountaintop. Each year over one hundred CEO’s in the S&P 1000 retire after reaching what can feel like a pinnacle in their career, leaving them feeling unprepared for the next phase. But if you’re an expert or you already know that you’ve committed to a goal, it’s actually the glass-half-empty mentality that may push you over the finish line. A refreshing read and reminder of ways to get things done. Start with motivational methods and incorporate adequate support. “Trying to stay motivated and make serious progress in whatever you’re trying to achieve in life can sometimes feel like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s a simple fix – and it just so happens to be in your control. It all starts with changing your circumstances. Most importantly, you need to define your goals. You need to pay attention to maintaining momentum, stay focused when you’ve got a billion other things on your plate and get your friends and family involved. And when you make your behavior and environment work for rather than against you, your goal of getting that raise, or that strong healthy body, or that tax return form sorted, or that new language learned, will be yours in no time! Dr. Fishbach has received several international awards, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology's Best Dissertation Award and Career Trajectory Award, and the Fulbright Educational Foundation Award, and in 2006, she received the Provost's Teaching Award from the University of Chicago.



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