So, I’m currently working on a big project that I’m kinda fired up about.
As such, I’m pulling out all my motivational tools from the ol’ toolshed.
Today, I’d like to review our Handy Dandy Motivational Calculator. Let’s dust it off and apply it to whatever big project YOU are working on these days. (Which is…. What?)
So… The Motivation Equation.
It’s REALLY (!) good. (Another pop quiz: Can you remember what it is?)
Recall: A leading researcher named Piers Steel did a meta analysis of a TON of papers on the science of motivation. He came up with an equation to capture motivation so you can “stop putting things off and start getting things done”!
Here’s what I wrote at the top of a blank sheet of paper in my AM journaling the other day:
Motivation = Expectancy x Value / Impulsivity x Delay
Then I took an inventory of how I’m doing in each and found ways to (+1!) Optimize each component to lock in sustainable motivation. (Then I WOOPed it. We’re going to revisit that tomorrow. 🤓)
First, Value (aka Desire). Think: Do you REALLY REALLY REALLY want it? Like jumbo really?
Then Expectancy (aka Confidence). Do you really (!) believe you can get it. If so, awesome. If not, recalibrate your goal so you do. No need being lame going for something you don’t even think you can get! (That, of course, is a great way to lose motivation—which is why this is such an important part of your equation!)
Alright. That’s our numerator. Want high motivation? Make your Desire x your Confidence a REALLY big value.
Now, we’re ready to deal with the things that will chip away at our motivation.
First, Impulsivity. Do you get distracted? Do you impulsively and addictively get distracted from doing Deep Work during the day? Or do you get distracted by the latest and greatest shiny idea that comes into your head? (That’s (one of) my greatest weakness(es), btw: Too many good ideas.)
Question: How can you REDUCE your impulsivity while INCREASING your focus? For me, it’s recommitting to less smartphone time and news (I’m pickled, folks!) while going ABSOLUTELY ALL IN on hammering (🔨🔨🔨) this project through to its completion.
(As my coach/Yoda/honorary father Phil Stutz recently said, “Ignore all other ideas. Be willing to be almost stupid in how much you POUND this.” <- Love that!)
And then we have Delay. If your goal is a year from now (without smaller milestone goals) you’re never going to maintain peak motivation. We need to create a TON of micro-wins Teresa Amabile Progress Principle style. Make TODAY a Masterpiece Day.
Identify What’s Important Now and then WIN! WIN! WIN! All day every day. Repeat.
All of which leads us to Today’s +1.
What’s your #1 Wildly Important Goal these days? (Note: Number ONE. Not ten. Or five. Or even two or three. ONE.)
Bust out a blank piece of paper or use our Worksheet. Work the equation.
Motivation = Expectancy x Value / Impulsivity x Delay.
Focus. Hammer. WIN.