lychee-1078x515Some days you get to work, sit down and just don’t feel like focussing on the task at hand. Even though you’ve planned for the day the night before, that motivational spark to get you started is not there. You stare at the screen; Motivation has completely vanished! It’s nowhere in sight! So instead you start browsing the Internet, emails, purposely looking for distractions which doesn’t help your productivity and hence happiness. This post will teach you how spending 2 minutes in a benefit stacking brainstorm can give you that motivation to keep on track.

Knowing your ‘why’

Good productivity systems will make it close to effortless and can make it close to inevitable that you actually spend time working on tasks that take you towards your goals. However if all motivation has vanished, even the most effective system will see you feeling tired, resisting and looking for distractions.

So we know we still need motivation.

Motivation comes from the reasons why you’ve decided you want to do something in the first place. There must be an underlying reason why you’ve set goals and built productivity systems to help you achieve them. This ‘why’ is the source of your energy and motivation. It’s what keeps you going.

Sometimes you might forget your ‘why’, causing you to stall.

Benefit stacking brainstorm

The two minute benefit stacking brainstorm will help you discover ‘why’ and spark the motivation to throw yourself back into execution mode. Here are the steps:

  1. Think of a benefit that will come from you executing your task, doesn’t matter how small
  2. Then brainstorm another benefit that spins off the first and stack it on top
  3. Now brainstorm another and stack this on top
  4. When the stack of benefits tips the scale you’ll feel overwhelmed with desire to execute the task

It takes only 2 minutes and you’ve got enough motivation to start executing, then the momentum and your usual productivity systems take over.

Why benefit stacking works

Even if you’ve completely forgotten your reasons for wanting to work on task, it’s easy to think of one positive thing that will come from doing that work.

Our brains are excellent at brainstorming!

A second small benefit can quickly be conjured and stacked on top of that first one. With enough benefits your underlying reasons why you wanted to perform that task in the first place becomes clearer. A few small benefits linked together lead you to think of a larger benefit which links to one of your goals.

All of a sudden you’ve rediscovered your reasons for setting the goal resulting in a flood of motivation that makes it effortless to start executing the small task at hand.

Further reading – This post at high performance lifestyle has some great examples of how to use the benefit stacking technique.

What motivational hacks do you use to boost your energy and start executing your plans?