Motivation and Reward

Lily McDonald, Writer

A common experience as a student or even as an adult in the workforce is feeling a lack of motivation to work. Well, really, everybody experiences this at some point, regardless of what context it’s in. It could be not wanting to clean your room to procrastinating on a homework assignment, but it is very often that people find themselves unable to get that drive to be productive.

So, what can you do about it? If everybody seems to be experiencing this problem, there’s got to be some solutions. A practice you could implement into your working routine is something called chunking, which is maybe something you already do. This is when you separate your tasks into small, bite-sized pieces and tackle them one at a time. There are almost always steps to things- for example, in writing an essay, you need to write the outline first, then a draft, then the final product- so with chunking you can separate those steps and then take breaks in between. This is a reward system of sorts. You’re rewarding your brain for your work, which makes you more motivated to continue so you can get that reward again.

Setting up a reward system for yourself can be very beneficial. The rewards could be anything, maybe it is just a 10-minute break to go on your phone or maybe it’s eating a piece of candy (as long as it is something for you to look forward to at the end of your task). Personally, I like walking around and changing my scenery when I take a break since being stuck working in the same environment can be mundane and boring. Reward systems like these can be seen in classrooms already, mostly in elementary schools with things like clip charts or marble jars with prizes or praise. I think that being able to make these systems for yourself or continuing to implement them in classrooms or workplaces could be helpful to keep the drive for work up, but you need to be careful not to be reliant on reward or praise to function.