Sunday, 10 January 2010

Motivation and Time Management

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” Arthur C. Clarke.

Some inspirational and powerful words there. Made me think actually, how we can push ourselves to test our limits, bit like being a thrill seeker. So why do we need motivation? We work towards a desired goal/s for achievements.

From studies involving over 6000 people, Professor Steven Reiss proposed a theory that there are 16 basic desires that guide almost all human behaviour thus being motivated. The desires are:
• Acceptance, the need for approval
• Curiosity, the need to think
• Eating, the need for food, survival
• Independence, the need for individuality
• Order, the need for organised, stable, predictable environments
• Physical Activity, the need for exercise
• Power, the need for influence of will
• Romance, the need for sex
• Saving, the need to collect
• Social contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)
• Status, the need for social standing/importance
• Tranquility, the need to be safe
• Vengeance, the need to strike back
• Family, the need to raise children
• Honor, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of one's clan/ethnic group
• Idealism, the need for social justice

I’m sure we can all relate to most of the points there. All these aspects are part of happiness, self-satisfaction and survival for humans. Without them, we would be ‘cabbaged.’ It’s what makes the human mind interesting with the way we think.

Another useful quote for motivation is by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Self –trust is the first secret of success.”

Guess you need something to look forward to in order to get the ultimate motivation and ask yourself why you’re doing what you are.

And if we learn how to trust ourselves first, we become more motivated, as the success leads to achievements thus making ourselves feel happy. Just like console games, why are so many people motivated to constantly play them or chose this activity rather than coursework? Examples I can relate to are the game “Left for Dead” and “Grand Theft Auto” which have achievement and trophy systems as do other games. As soon as you complete a task or earn something, you gain a reward of an achievement or trophy and get a higher rank above other people, which becomes the reason why I’m motivated to carry on playing. This relates to the “status, need for social importance” desire. Also, playing “Left 4 Dead” gives me adrenalin rushes with the zombie hordes and unpredictable nature of the game.

Furthermore, if something is of great importance or interest for someone, we automatically use it as a motivational tool, no mater what it is. For example, it could be a person that drives you to achieve what you want and pleasing them.

Music is also a key tool that motivates me. I need it as it focuses my mind to the work. The rhythm of the music is everything. The best type of music I work to is drum and base/electronic such as Pendulum because I will work faster due to the rapid pace of the music.

Another motivator is having something to look forward to. For example, I made a promise to myself that I won’t buy the Xbox until sufficient work is done, however during this time, other aspects distract me anyway and it’s almost unavoidable.

Evil aspects that distract me the most are Facebook (what a killer of time, but horribly addictive!), PS3, going out, television and depressing experiences.

The one I’m most disappointed in myself for is watching television. In reality, all we’re doing is staring at a box with a light in it wasting away time. In the time I spend watching TV with pointless shows, I could be drawing, reading, sculpting and generally doing anything productive. I hope to learn from this so from now on so I limit myself to the occasional movie, as I find many very inspirational. For example, I watched “Avatar” in the cinemas the other week and found the general concept amazing. The movie really does send a message to the viewer about what we’re doing to this planet with technology and selfish desires. The movie cleverly draws in a wide target audience to create awareness. I also found the use of bright, saturated colours inspirational and how they we’re combined and used. This will definitely reflect on the aesthetic aspect of the work I produce.

“You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” Charles Bruxton.

How true this quote is. Achieving the amount of work you want is about finding the time to do it which means avoiding distractions. Time itself doesn’t really exist, it’s just something us humans created to form organisation, routine and order in this world. We as humans are animals that instinctively want to live how we want, when we want, but with time, we are in a set routine. Think about it, animals don’t go looking at the clock to check the time, unless it’s the ‘White Rabbit.’ If I could, I would live life as if there was no time to live around.

I admit, time management isn’t one of my strengths. I really suck at it! I’ve tried to make a timetable to organise my time, before but I can never keep it up. Something will interfere. I’ll end up doing something else last minute such as go out or play the PS3 when I shouldn’t be. And what really discourages me is the set amount of time we should be putting into our work because I know I’m not doing as much as I should be, therefore this ends up demotivating and slowing down the production of work.

I know we should be working hours like a full time job, but we’re only human (no, I’m not using it as an excuse) and depending on different people, we are guaranteed to have depressing and unproductive days and we all work at different paces. We’re not machines that have no emotion or feelings. Obstacles in life are always going to be there to demotivate the mind to think “what’s the point?”

My problem is I keep telling myself that I have plenty of time to do the work, there’s always tomorrow right? WRONG. This continuous cycle leads me to do the work last minute and panic. But the weird thing is, this “panic” turns into an adrenalin rush and I all of a sudden start working twice as fast, but not rush the work and end up with some good final outcomes of work but of course I don’t produce sufficient amount of work.

I noticed that from the diary of what we did for a week, I found the typical distractions on there were the PS3, facebook, going out drinking and DVDs. But the blank hours where I did absolutely nothing was me spending the time literally sitting there collecting my thoughts and thinking about life. As my friends know I tend to drift off into my own world and I know it is not practical, but I can’t avoid it, I just do it. I suppose I need something to fill that void that makes me wonder off?

Next term I really need to get my act together and buckle down with the work as soon as it is set. I need to avoid these silly distractions, focus on what motivates me, filter out what demotivates and just get on with the work. The thought of failing continuously worries me.