Summary: I realize that building a reward system is not easy. Especially for entrepreneurs who are task oriented and feel they are ALWAYS working and need to get the right balance with other things in life.
I always feel that if a certain thing doesn’t help me progress in some way, it’s a waste of time. I know it’s not true, but that’s what my inner self saying instinctively. So, how do you build a reward system if you treat rewards as a waste of time? How you create those fun moments to increase your productivity?
The 20% Rule
a lot was said about Google’s 20% rule of working on other things of your interest inside the company. These 20% allows to raise Google’s employees satisfaction from their work place. The 20% rule is engraved in Google’s DNA company culture. It’s THEIR rules, and Google’s employees work very hard on the rest of their 80% work time.
Corporate companies have their great ways to make their employees be more satisfied on their working environment in order for them to stay longer hours.
Still, the concept of breaking your time doing something else is important for your creativity and well-being as well. It is hard when you are a tiny team of 2 co-founders working from your garage (is it REALLY always a garage?!).
It’s hard to say when you are working and when you are not working, as you are the person in charge, it feels like you are always working! It’s also hard to decide stop working and doing something else. “I’m suppose to work on my startup, no? nothing else!”
Building a Reward system
I realized a couple of weeks ago that I’m going through the same pattern of trying to see how I allocate my free time. Meaning, actually making free time for myself, a time that i feel I’m actually doing something else and not sitting by my computer working on my startup. I realized it’s a very hard thing to do, if you don’t understand well what’s a proper reward for yourself.
I try my best to improve my productivity in different ways and use different tools, this while reading of new ways about boosting your productivity. Go Finish also came from that concept, and will revolutionize the way people work from home.
Many of these articles talk about building a reward system for yourself and breaking up your day into goals (finishing tasks) and rewards when achieving these goals.
And this what I started to do….
I started breaking my day into tasks, listing them and crossing them out when they have been achieved, and then went on to the next task, and next task and…no break!
I realized that my rewarding system is lacking then. While people reward themselves by watching an episode of “Game of Thrones” (Or game of laughs) , or going out for coffee, I don’t see those as rewards. They’re things I do, but are not a reward for me. So, conclusion is (and pretty obvious) a rewarding system is something very individual.
Picking the right reward
As entrepreneur I’m a very task driven person, so I need to see the benefit of the actions I’m doing for my personal progress and development. I always try to make enough progress with my Chinese as example. It’s something which is certainly not work, but it’s also not a reward. So, what’s my reward then?
I love travelling and used to be an (active) amateur photographer, even had a photography exhibition once. As entrepreneurship caught most of my time, less time was left for traveling. I do prefer long time traveling usually 3+ weeks (some trips were 5 months). It’s the time it takes to land, know a place and really be in it, not just touring there.
So, this one is defiantly a reward for me. BUT it’s a tough reward to have, takes more planning and commitment than going gout for an ice cream.
Recently I stated going to Capoeira training. I enjoy it, though it’s still not my main thing. I manage to go once a week for now and hopefully more times a week soon. Is that a reward then?
Obviously, It fails to be a reward as well! Here’s why:
a. It’s on set times. So, shouldn’t I go exercise if I didn’t’ achieve my goal yet?
b. Excercise should be a habit, not a reward. It falls in a different category.
The answer actually lies on building a clear bigger reward system and connect it to certain goals after achieving different tasks. It’s a whole process of understanding what motivates you and how to stimulate that motivation.
I’m in the process of understanding what is the right reward system for me. What are the things that will boost myself on the rest of my tasks and make me even MORE productive.
Now over to you
What is your reward system? is it related to food? a movie? a TV program you like?
Also, how you reward yourself? When you decide you deserve that reward. Share it on the comments’ , I’m very interested to hear.
Image credit by by robby-T