Need a simple hack to motivate yourself to slog through your email backlog?
Here’s a great one from author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg: as fast as you can, write a one-sentence reply to each message.
But don’t send them right away.
Just read and write a sentence in response that “expresses an opinion or decision.”
And if you can exercise control over the situation in your response, you’ll be more motivated to continue, Duhigg says in his book Smarter Faster Better.
Then you can can go back into your draft messages and add the rest of each message – salutations, specifics and signoffs.
This is a terrific example of two ways Duhigg says you can generate motivation.
The first is to “make a choice that puts you in control.” And “the specific choice itself matters less in sparking motivation than the assertion of control.”
The second is to “figure out how this task is connected to something you care about.” If you can “explain why this matters, then you’ll find it easier to start.”
Duhigg’s book is full of fascinating science behind motivation, teams, focus, goal setting, managing others, decision making, innovation and absorbing data.
You’ll learn “the secrets of being productive in life and business” – not only for yourself, but also for your colleagues and your kids.
If you’re looking for an interesting and insightful summer read, this is one to download on your mobile device or pack in your beach bag.