Motivation, Procrastination and Efficiency

Motivation is an odd thing. For me, it comes in powerful bursts which are normally accompanied by a white-hot interest in something. When motivated, I have an unmatched attention-span, I will be totally absorbed in what I am doing, time will pass and I won’t notice. It’s almost like obsession. The subject of my fixation might not have any practical purpose, or sometimes it may have had a purpose and I’ve exceeded the required knowledge or skill and I simply continue learning because I find it interesting.

Suddenly, for no apparent reason, I may lose my interest and my motivation disappears. Attempting to continue pursuing said subject becomes a frustrating experience. If I were to write about something, I could literally get to the point of screaming at my hand to write. I have many unfinished projects which are quite advanced, far beyond just “necessary” constructions, but left aside as my interest moved onto other things. If the task has an obligation connected to it, I procrastinate to the extreme. Sometimes, I can waste several hours thinking of the most efficient way to do a five minute task.

When working however, motivation doesn’t ever enter the equation. An odd sense of discipline takes over and I am ruthlessly efficient. I work like a robot, not needing time for breaks, often eating at my desk and rarely socialising. Some tasks I don’t find interesting, but I enjoy them nonetheless as I continue to find efficiency wherever possible and lower the execution time of a task. I literally conduct time and motion studies on everything.

For instance:

In one case I found myself framing long term service certificates, as I had wrapped up a project early and offered to help out the admin (I cannot stand being idle). I would organise the frames, certificates, rubbish, tools on the desk and refine the art. From the location and orientation of each object, to even the side the certificate was facing at any particular time to make it most efficient to pick up and place.

Funnily enough, these actions have odd social consequences; in temporary working environments, I often receive praise from managers for slashing the task execution time,  and hostility from peers of whom the task usually belongs. In the above case, I managed to complete the work of two permanent staff members, in half the time, by myself. The admin however, were not pleased. They were not interested in finding out how I managed to do the task so efficiently. They did not even thank me for doing work that they were too lazy to do and getting heat over. Hmm.

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