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Motivation And Time Management

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Finding HappineLeadership by Design: Leadershipss at Work

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Akindotun Merino

Goals can be inspiring, but that inspiration can fade in the reality of everyday life. In order to achieve your goals, it is important that you find ways to motivate yourself. You cannot constantly rely on external motivation.

Implementing different methods of motivation such as remembering peak moments, writing down goals and gamification will help keep you stay focused and positive as you work towards your goals.

Positive memories are powerful motivators. Remembering peak moments creates the sense of achievement and encourages us to seek out that same feeling again. Peak moments are not relegated to work accomplishments. They are any strong memories that create positive feelings.

For example, completing a marathon may be a peak moment. Getting married or having a child can also be peak moments. Looking back over your peak moments will show you how much you already have, and how far you have already come. They will encourage and motivate you to keep moving forward and reach your goals.

Knowing your goals is not enough to keep you motivated; you have to write them down. Writing down goals creates a visual reminder of where you are going. When you are writing down your goals, remember to:
Use the present tense or the present perfect tense: This will help you visualize reaching your goals.
Use “I” statements: An “I” statement reinforces that they are personal goals. They are your responsibility.

Example:
I am graduating with my master’s degree.
Once your goals are written down, you should display them someplace where you will see them regularly.

Gamification uses the process of game dynamics to blend intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Unlike online games that can become obstacles to productivity, gamification will actually help you achieve your goals. This system allows you to earn points towards rewards by accomplishing tasks. The points you earn provide incentives to complete more tasks and earn more rewards. You can create your own life game by taking a few steps.

READ ALSO; Dealing With Procrastination

Create Your Own Game:
Identify tasks: List the tasks/chores that you need to accomplish.
Assign points: Assign a number of points to each task. Tasks that you typically avoid should be given more points to provide greater incentive.

Assign rewards: Determine how many points are necessary to earn each reward. Higher point counts should be given to rewards that are more valuable. For example, an outing to a coffee shop could be 20 points, while purchasing game, book, etc., could be 120 points. The rewards will depend on what motivates you.

Keep score: Find a method to keep track of your points that works for you. You could use a spreadsheet or list them in an app on your phone.
You will probably have to adjust your game to find the most motivating rewards system. Once you have made the necessary adjustments, you will have fun reaching your goals.
Tracking your progress will help you see your accomplishments and which areas require more effort. Additionally, seeing the improvements that you make will motivate you to continue your hard work.

Over time, you should see yourself consistently reaching more of your daily goals. There are different ways to track progress. You may choose to do it by hand, use a spreadsheet, or use an online tool such as Joe’s Charts. No matter the format you use, charting requires you to complete a list of daily goals. At the end of each day, you check off the goals that you accomplished. Do not expect to always reach all of your goals. The purpose of tracking progress is to show you the areas that need more of your focus.

Time management is the key to getting things done. It is easy to become sidetracked by unimportant tasks that do not help you reach your goals without the proper time management. By following the following strategies, you will be able to navigate your time wisely. They will help you achieve your goals while decreasing your stress level and making your life easier.

Many successful individuals recommend following the 80/20 Rule. The 80/20 rule states that only 20 percent of our actions are responsible for 80 percent of our successes. This means that it is necessary to discover the 20 percent of our actions that are the most effective. Focus on these actions once you discover them and make them your priorities.

The 80/20 Rule should be linked to your goals. Once you prioritize goals, you should spend most of your time working on the 20 percent of activities that you know will move you forward. In order to manage time, you need to determine the difference between urgent and important tasks. Urgent tasks are tasks that need to be done quickly, and important tasks are related to specific goals. Most tasks will be a combination of the two, such as urgent/important or urgent/unimportant. You need to place priority on important tasks, completing tasks that are both urgent and important first.

Unfortunately, we are often trapped performing urgent tasks that are not important. They may be important to the people around you, but they are distractions and interruptions that do nothing to help you meet your own goals. Important tasks should take priority because they are focused on specific goals. The urgent/important matrix below will help you identify which tasks are urgent and which ones are important.

READ ALSO; The Evils Of Technical Justice

Calendars are essential to effective time management. Calendars are familiar tools, but they are not always used effectively. When using a calendar to manage time, it is important that you only use one. Given the different calendar options, it is easy to try to integrate different calendars, but you risk scheduling mistakes. You can choose from physical calendars, mid tech options like day-timer, and high tech apps for your phone. Find the calendar that works for you and stick with it.

Calendar Rules:
Keep the calendar with you: Leaving the calendar behind means that you may forget to list something on it.
Only list appointments and day events: Appointments require specific times. Events include birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Avoid notes: Do not clutter your calendar. Have a separate section for notes.
Include phone numbers: While you should avoid clutter, phone numbers and addresses may be useful.

Rituals can help improve time management. Rituals are repetitive actions, which do not need to be scheduled. For example, you do not think about brushing and flossing before bed or making coffee with breakfast. By creating rituals that are connected with goals, you will not have to schedule certain tasks. For example, if you get up at the same time every morning and exercise for 30 minutes, you will create a ritual. This ritual will become a habit over time.

You will not create a ritual overnight. For the first few months, you will have to be disciplined in your efforts. It takes time to create a habit. How long it takes a habit to form will vary according to each individual. There is no magic number. You will have to continue your quest until your ritual is complete.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology and a Mental Health Commissioner in California.
Share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
Jars Education Group
info@akinmerino.com
Text: 909.681.0530 or 0705 629 0985
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

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Mental Health

Anger Management (8)

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Anger Management

By Akindotun Merino
You’ve already picked a solution for your problem. Now it’s time to create a plan for its implementation.

The following are some guidelines when making a plan.

1. Keep your goal(s) central to your plan.

Every solution has a goal. The goal is the specific and measurable change that you want to achieve by implementing your solution. When you make a plan, make sure that all the steps and processes you outline are moving towards this goal.

2. Break down your action plan into concrete steps.

A good plan is concrete instead of abstract, specific instead of generic. Think of the different steps that you need to do in order to get to your ultimate goal and plan along those milestones. Note the deliverable per milestone. Indicate the timeline for each milestone. Identify the people responsible for each task.

 READ ALSO: Anger Management (7)

3. Note all the resources you would need.

There are two kinds of resources: human and material. Make a list of all human and material resources that you need to execute the action, and make sure that they are all available. If they are not available, add an extra action plan to procure them. You want to make sure that your plan is realistic given your resources.

4. Plan how the solution would be evaluated.
A good plan doesn’t just include the steps to execute the program. It should also include mechanisms for monitoring progress and evaluating results. An evaluation plan ensures that needs for plan revision can be surfaced.
An issue in contention will remain a hot issue unless the plan is implemented. It is only when concrete change can be observed that anger can be seriously addressed.

The following are some tips in implementing a solution.

Stick to your plan. Note the what, where, when and, who of your plan and follow it to the letter. This will keep your end of the bargain explicit and easy to monitor and evaluate. Deviating from the plan can result to additional anger, especially if you deviated in areas important to the other party.

Monitor progress and results. Keep track of whether or not your solution is accomplishing the goal. Make sure that you put everything on paper for ready reference later. Log down best practices, risks and obstacles encountered.

Reward and revise accordingly. If the solution is working, note progress and affirm the success. This gives the two parties a sense of accomplishment. More so, the next time they have a conflict, it can serve as testament to their ability to solve a problem.

If the solution is not working, gather feedback. Surface the reason why the solution does not seem to be working. Make the necessary changes so that you can revise the plan as needed.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
info@akinmerino.com
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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Mental Health

Anger Management (7)

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Anger Management

By Akindotun Merino

Consensus means unanimous agreement on an area of contention. Arriving at a consensus is the ideal resolution of bargaining. If both parties can find a solution that is agreeable to both of them, then anger can be prevented or reduced.

The following are some tips on how to arrive at a consensus:

Focus on interests rather than positions. Surface the underlying value that makes people take the position they do. For example, the interest behind a request for a salary increase may be financial security. If you can communicate to the other party that you acknowledge this need, and will only offer a position that takes financial security into consideration, then a consensus is more likely to happen.

READ ALSO: Anger Management (5)

Explore options together. Consensus is more likely if both parties are actively involved in the solution-making process. This ensures that there is increased communication about each party’s positions. It also ensures that resistances are addressed.

Increase sameness / reduce differentiation. A consensus is more likely if you can emphasize all the things that you and the other party have in common, and minimize all the things that make you different. An increased empathy can make finding common interests easier. It may also reduce psychological barriers to compromising. An example of increasing sameness/ reducing differences is an employer and employee temporarily setting aside their position disparity and looking at the problem as two stakeholders in the same organization.

Identifying Solutions
Working on a problem involves the process of coming up with possible solutions. The following are some ways two parties in disagreement can identify solutions to their problem.

  • Brainstorm. Brainstorming is the process of coming up with as many ideas as you can in the shortest time possible. It makes use of diversity of personalities in a group, so that one can come up with the widest range of fresh ideas. Quantity of ideas is more important than quality of ideas in the initial stage of brainstorming; you can filter out the bad ones later on with an in-depth review of their pros and cons.
  • Hypothesize. Hypothesizing means coming up with ‘what if’ scenarios based on intelligent guesses. A solution can be made from imagining alternative set-ups, and studying these alternative set-ups against facts and known data.
  • You may also look for a solution in the past. If a solution has worked before, perhaps it may work again. Find similar problems and study how it was handled. You don’t have to follow a model to the letter; you are always free to tweak it to fit the nuances of the current problem.
  • Invent Options. If there has been no precedence for a problem, it’s time to exercise one’s creativity and think of new options. A way to go about this is to list down each party’s interests and come up with proposed solutions that have benefits for each party.
  • Survey. If the two parties can’t come up with a solution between the two of them, maybe it’s time to seek other people’s point of view. Survey people with interest or background in the issue in contention. Finding an expert is possible. Just remember though, at the end of the day the decision is still yours. Identify a solution based on facts, not on someone’s opinion.

READ ALSO: Anger Management

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
info@akinmerino.com
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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Mental Health

Anger Management (6)

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Anger Management

By Akindotun Merino

The escalation of anger in ‘hot’ situations can be easily prevented, if a system for discussing contentious issues is in place. In this module, we will discuss how to work effectively on the problem. Specifically, we will tackle constructive disagreement, negotiation tips, building a consensus and identifying solutions.

There is nothing wrong with disagreement. No two people are completely similar, therefore it’s inevitable that they would disagree on at least one issue. There’s also nothing wrong in having a position and defending it.

READ ALSO: Anger Management (5)

To make the most of a disagreement, you have to keep it constructive. The following are some of the elements of a constructive disagreement:

  • Solution-focus. The disagreement aims to find a workable compromise at the end of the discussion.
  • Mutual Respect. Even if the two parties do not agree with one another, courtesy is always a priority.
  • Win-Win Solution. Constructive disagreement is not geared towards getting the “one-up” on the other person. The premium is always on finding a solution that has benefits for both parties.
  • Reasonable Concessions. More often than not, a win-win solution means you won’t get your way completely. Some degree of sacrifice is necessary to meet the other person halfway. In constructive disagreement, parties are open to making reasonable concessions for the negotiation to move forward.
  • Learning-Focus. Parties in constructive disagreement see conflicts as opportunities to get feedback on how well a system works, so that necessary changes can be made. They also see it as a challenge to be flexible and creative in coming up with solutions for everyone’s gain.

Negotiations are sometimes a necessary part of arriving at a solution. When two parties are in a disagreement, there has to be a process that would surfaces areas of bargaining. When a person is given the opportunity to present his side and argue for his or her interests, anger is less likely to escalate.

The following are some tips on negotiation during a conflict:

  1. Note situational factors that can influence the negotiation process. Context is an important element in the negotiation process. The location of the meeting, the physical arrangement of room, as well as the time the meeting is held can positively or negatively influence the participants’ ability to listen and discern. For example, negotiations held in a noisy auditorium immediately after a stressful day can make participants irritable and less likely to compromise.
  2. Prepare! Before entering a negotiating table, make your research. Stack up on facts to back up your position, and anticipate the other party’s position. Having the right information can make the negotiation process run faster and more efficiently.
  3. Communicate clearly and effectively. Make sure that you state your needs and interests in a way that is not open to misinterpretation. Speak in a calm and controlled manner. Present arguments without personalization. Remember, your position can only be appreciated if it’s perceived accurately.
  4. Focus on the process as well as the content. It’s important that you pay attention not just to the words you and the other party are saying, but also the manner the discussion is running. For example, was everyone able to speak their position adequately, or is there an individual who dominates the conversation? Are there implicit or explicit coercions happening? Does the other person’s non-verbal behavior show openness and objectivity? All these things influence result, and you want to make sure that you have the most productive negotiation process that you can.
  5. Keep an open-mind. Lastly, enter a negotiation situation with an open mind. Be willing to listen and carefully consider what the other person has to say. Anticipate the possibility that you may have to change your beliefs and assumptions. Make concessions.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
info@akinmerino.com
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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