A study reported in January’s Harvard Business Review* found that the most important factor for motivation at work was…. progress! Now, there’s a blinding flash of the obvious. I have to agree that my best days, at work or at home, are those days on which I feel like I’ve made progress on something that’s important to me.
I’m taking that insight to heart as I embark on an ambitious 2010. A little less spending time cleaning out e-mail inbox and surfing the net. A little more time making at least incremental progress on the many projects I want to get done, books I want to read, adventures I want to have, and oh, the things I still want to learn. I’m setting my resolutions and to-learn list up so that the goals are as much about making progress as about grand accomplishment. Sure, the grand accomplishments are the real goals, but some have seemed too daunting to tackle in the time between other commitments. I think those researchers may be on to something.
BTW, another thing that turned up high on the list of things that motivated people was collaboration. I guess that means I should get out of my head more. :-) I’m looking forward to the Academy of HRD conference in February, building an online scholar-practitioner community with AHRD, working with a new committee at work, and many other ways I get to work with some brilliant and fun people who keep me energized and focused.
I don’t know about you, but I love turning the page on a new year. I allow myself that clean-slate, fresh start feeling and revel in compiling a list that will take the whole year to complete. Here’s to 2010. Happy New Year!
* See What Really Motivates Workers by Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer – #1 on the HBR List of Breakthrough Ideas for 2010.