In J-school (The J stands for "journalism" for those of you who may not know), one of the first lessons I learned involved how to get the information I'd need to know to write a story. In other words: What questions would I need to ask? The information derived from my sources, based on the basic questions asked, would help motivate me to ask more questions, get to the specifics, and write the story for each of my assignments.
I can use this same lesson to motivate me today, for just about any task. For instance, the questions are as follows:
Not only do these questions work well in gathering information for a story, but they also work well when I'm feeling less than motivated to start a new project of any kind. When I'm feeling unmotivated, I can simply start asking myself these questions:
Who am I working for on this particular project? No matter if I'm working for an editor or the president of a specific company or organization, they need me to get the job done. I'm accountable to them. It helps to be reminded of that.
What job do I need to do first? This question will help me prioritize my list of things to do.
When should I get it done? If I don't have a deadline, I can set one for myself. That action step will help me stay focused.
Where should I go to gather the information I need to complete the task? Are there people I can call? Is there a resource I can use? Knowing the answer to this will help limit the time I spend on research.
Why am I doing this job, anyway? Is this a project that furthers my personal business goals? If it doesn't, and I find myself procrastinating, that could be the reason for my delay. It's a good question to answer ahead of time, before taking on the project in the first place.
If you find yourself in need of a quick fix in the motivation department, try using the 5 Ws to determine what questions you might need to ask yourself first. They could generate exactly the answers you need to get the project started.
Hope "The Five Ws of Motivation" help you get your week off on the right path. And, by the way, you can engineer the questions to fit your specific line of work. Just start with the Five Ws and go from there. And let me know if this works for you by posting a comment below.
See you soon.
Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at annarbor.com, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.