To implement the positive changes we would like to see in order to make ourselves better time managers, we often revert to the ‘stick’ as opposed to the ‘carrot’ approach. And yet, behavioural research indicates that change does not take place when punishment is the motivation! In order for us to be effective and motivated human beings, positive lasting change needs to come from intrinsic or internal motivation. So how do we manage this?

As human beings we are naturally pain avoiding, pleasure seeking creatures. Anyone who doubts this, needs to merely observe a small baby. As we get older, we develop emotions of guilt concerning self reward based on philosophical and religious upbringings, and yet self reward is an incredible motivating tool if used appropriately.

We all have inner hedonists. If we deny our hedonists, the old adage “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” not only becomes a reality, but makes us depressed, stressed and unhappy individuals. Life is hard enough as it is, we need to create opportunities for play and joy wherever possible – even at work. By creating mini milestones and opportunities for guilt free, well deserved self reward, we can make any project rewarding, including those in which we are implementing changes in our lives.

Your inner hedonist is here to stay. You can fight it and suppress it, or you can use it as a tool to motivate. Research has indicated that self esteem improves when one learns to reward and value the self, and I really do believe that if we create meaningful opportunities to nurture our inner hedonist we will not only feel better about ourselves as individuals, but we will be happier, healthier and more successful as well.

Brand oriented and creative companies also consist of a large amount of creative staff. These industries have been rated as amongst the top three most stressful professions, comparable to air traffic control. We asked Lechelle where the incredible stress and pressure in the creative industry originates? “The industry is definitely deadline driven, especially when we are dealing with website optimisation issues. However, a lot of stress in the industry does come from little respect for creatives in South Africa as subject matter experts, and sometimes the client does not always know best, however the industry is definitely client centred and clients tend to dictate creative direction. ” Lechelle further explained that South Africa has taken six years to reach the same level of online maturity that most other countries would reach within five due to our distrusting nature.

As for me, I’m off to have a nice relaxing walk with my dog as my ‘reward’ for writing this article. What will yours be today?

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