Getting Stuff Done For The Rest of Us

Liz Sumner Motivation, Procrastination, Productivity Leave a Comment

People who know and love me, (I’m thinking of you, Jennifer) will recognize that I often act as though rules don’t apply to me. I have long given myself permission to modify prescribed methods as needed.

That’s how I approach Productivity– make the system work for you. Don’t try to fit yourself into a program that’s not your style.

How could one size fit all? We are all so different.

My beloved sister and mentor, the aforementioned Jennifer, told me about an organizational behavior model called Need Theory developed by psychologist, David McClelland. He proposes that we have three main motivations– Achievement, Power, and Affiliation.

People motivated primarily by achievement prefer work in which the results are based on their effort rather than on anything else. They feel a drive to excel and achieve in relation to a set of standards.

People with a high need for power place a high value on discipline and enjoy status recognition, winning arguments, competition, and influencing others.

The third type, where I fall, is motivation by affiliation. We prefer to spend time creating and maintaining social relationships, enjoy being a part of groups, and have a desire to feel loved and accepted.

If achievement is your main motivator is pretty simple to be productive. You can track your accomplishments, earn the badges, get to the summit. You’re set.

The same is true for the power-oriented. You strive to be the best, make the most money. You see the goal and are wired attain it.

But the rest of us can go through life feeling good, making friends, not getting much done. The standard approach to productivity assumes a goal orientation that is not innate.

I have made it my mission to help the “differently motivated” achieve the satisfaction of accomplishment. Here are a few of my “hacks.”

1. Recognize and love your way of being.  Your life and goals may look different but they’re yours. Tune into what is important to you, not someone else.

2. Work with your strengths. Accountability partners are very useful for Affiliators. We are more likely to do what we say we will to another person because we don’t want to disappoint them.

3. Build on small wins. Some of us have a lifetime of broken commitments to ourselves and think we can never change. Start with small steps and build some trust in yourself.

4. Laugh at yourself

5. Celebrate

6. Forgive yourself

7. Keep going  

Those of us who aren’t accustomed to pushing ourselves might have a tendency to give up easily. This is another area where we can lean on the power of the community we’ve created. While we tell others to ask for help we often neglect to reach out ourselves.

That’s what we’re here for.

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