I like work but not when I have to.
September 15, 2012 9:59 AM Subscribe
If I feel like I "have" to do something, or that I'll get something out of doing something, I immediately lose interest. How can I learn to enjoy tasks for their own sake, even when I know that's not why I'm doing them?
posted by jumelle to Human Relations (9 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
As long as there are no negative or positive repercussions at stake, I can perform-- or attempt to perform-- simple, complex, mundane or interesting tasks without much anxiety.
But if I feel like I'm going to get something out of the situation, or be punished if I don't fulfill the task, it becomes an ordeal.
Instead of being motivated by rewards or punishments, I become consumed by them. Instead of thinking about the task, I just think about how I don't need the future reward, or won't get the reward, how there's probably a less time consuming way to get what I want, or how the punishment won't be that bad if I face it.
I try to forget about those things while I'm working, but it's impossible to put these thoughts out of my mind because I'm always working within project constraints. I think, "I don't want to do it this way. Do I have everything on the checklist? If I were working on my own, I could do whatever I wanted. It's not like I need any reward, this is moronic," etc.
But of course, I just procrastinate and wind up doing it any way. This is a stupid and ineffective way to work, but the more I feel I stand to gain or lose by doing something, the sicker I feel when I do it. Do you have any suggestions on how to enjoy these tasks for their own sake, even when I know that's not why I'm performing them?