STYLE Savvy: Managing Motivation



Last week, I wrote about the motivation issues that may arise naturally from our personal and motivational styles, so this week, I’d like to share three keys to bringing motivation back.

Listing. While lists provide proof of accomplishment for the I need to see it personal style, they serve as item locators for those with the I know I put it somewhere organizational style. Being unable to find something you’ve stored “in a safe place” is a real motivation killer; cheat sheets bring order and a system to the sometimes haphazard organization of the  I know I put it somewhere organizer.

Chunking. A popular strategy for saving time (run all the errands that are in geographic proximity at the same time) and memory (chunk bits of information into related groups–think of phone numbers–to get more information into short term memory), chunking can work as a motivator, too. The I love to be busy person can actually see progress when he or she breaks organizational tasks into bite-sized pieces that can realistically be accomplished between meetings, appointments and practices. The drop and run organizer can save time digging through piles if each pile (“chunk”) contains one category of items. It may take a little creative dropping, getting into the habit of putting all the items for one activity in the same spot, but it’s the beginning of a system.

Containing. Choosing containers that match our styles increase our motivation to put things away instead of down, and to use the organizational systems we set up. Cram and jammers whose containers are large and/or flexible are less likely be defeated by crumpled, ripped or broken items. I love stuff folks protect their collections by containing them in ways that keep them safe and out of harm’s way.

Image via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

Image via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

It’s hard not to get discouraged when our styles don’t match those of our Type A organizer friends, but remember that consistency is key, no matter your styles. Finding tools that work and using those tools consistently leads to habits and systems that work because they’ve arisen out of what comes naturally. Celebrating small successes and using tools whose form, function and style are a good fit for you keeps motivation high and the piles of stuff low.

Even better? It feels a lot less like work.

Copyright 2016 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and is a blogger at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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