What motivates you to get a task done?  What is preventing you from doing certain tasks?  These are important questions that can fuel your proficiency in getting things done.

I recently went through a quarterly review with my line manager.  Overall, I got good feedback, but there was one objective that I was not quite meeting.  While discussing the “why” it came to the forefront that I was just not motivated to reach excellence on this objective.  Something about it – what it was, how it was presented, what it meant to me – prevented me from doing my best work on it.

So, what do I do?

  1. Clarify the objective – First I needed to fully understand what was important about the objective – to the team, to my company, to me, to my manager. This means asking questions of my line manager and myself.
  2. Break it down – Next I needed to break the objective down into smaller chunks.  The smaller actions make it easier to digest.  Completing the smaller actions will give me a sense of accomplishment and hopefully fuel my motivation.
  3. Make it meaningful and exciting – I do my best work when something is meaningful (see #1 above) and exciting to me.  I had to “spin” this objective in my mind to tie it to my passions and interests – while still meeting the goal of the objective.
  4. Dedicate the time – Since this objective was challenging to me I need to set aside dedicated time to focus on it. Put it on my calendar, eliminate distractions, and get it done.

Is something blocking you from doing your best work?  Follow the 4 Step approach above and get ‘er done!