Motivation to work, it’s not about the money

I learnt something new today while reading through After reading the below article, I have started to evaluate what has been keeping me doing the same job for the pass 11 years.

At a high level, SDT makes a simple claim:

“To be happy, your work must fulfill three universal psychological needs: autonomy,competence, and relatedness.”

In more detail…

  • Autonomy refers to control over how you fill your time. As Deci puts it, if you have a high degree of autonomy, then “you endorse [your] actions at the highest level of reflection.”
  • Competence refers to mastering unambiguously useful things. As the psychologist Robert White opines, in the wonderfully formal speak of the 1950s academic, humans have a “propensity to have an effect on the environment as well as to attain valued outcomes within it.”
  • Relatedness refers to a feeling of connection to others. As Deci pithily summarizes: “to love and care, and to be loved and cared for.”

Article:Beyond Passion: The Science of Loving What You Do

Only when I shift into my writing mode do I truly feel the presence of the three factors above. Does this mean I should consider quitting the job I am doing now to fully pursue a life of writing? I am really not sure, but it would really give me the chance to be autonomous. Yet, in Malaysia being a full-time writer does not pay the bills. It’s really a bummer.

I really do not want to be caught in the rut where I work for the money. Instead, I want to enjoy doing something that fires me up, which pays me well for that passion and allows me to be content with who I am (work-wise).

What motivates you to do your work?


Twitter and Facebook can actually make you more productive.


Employers don’t really like Facebook and Twitter, so before they decide to ban these two social networking apps into the abyss for wasting your time hence pulling productivity down, tell them that studies have shown a different picture.

But for knowledge workers charged with transforming ideas into products – whether gadgets, code, or even Wired articles – goofing off isn’t the enemy. In fact, regularly stepping back from the project at hand can be essential to success. And social networks are particularly well suited to stoking the creative mind.

How Twitter and Facebook Make Us More Productive []

This doesn’t mean you Tweet every other minute or post everystep you take on your Facebook profile. The key-word is “regularly stepping back” which implies that you take short rest-bites while working on your project or task.

Breaking your train of thought can introduce new ideas, ideas you may not have been able to see before, into your task and this is what jump-starts the creative process.

So, having a Facebook or Twitter account doesn’t make you the devil’s advocate for slacking off work, it may just make you the star employee of the month for creativity.

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Mind Mapping my organised mess – working well for less


My desk is a mess, a collection of memos, letters, reports and print-outs. My organized mess of work. You sure can’t lose anything when you throw it on top of all that and somehow I like it that way.

To a certain degree, my thoughts are often jumbled up like that. Meshed together in a mess, that at times may not be organized. And it is this chaotic string of thoughts that I plan to organize in the coming weeks.

In my search for Mind-Mapping tools, I came across Get-It-Done’s article “Manage Life with a Personal Dashboard” and it struck me with its simplicity and ability to organize chaos.

I’ve been using mind-mapping to map out ideas and minute meetings but I’ve yet to use it to manage my life by organizing thoughts and events and tasks. In my initial mind-map, I found that putting down my tasks and everyday work items into a visual form is fantastic. It allows me to see the amount of work, the number of tasks and relationship the tasks have with each other. Anything can be thrown into this mix and then organized into its own section or category. For now, I am trying hard not to complicate my current mind-map with unneccessary nonsense. Most projects start off well but get swallowed up in un-needed complexity that it grinds to a halt and ends up dead in the water.

Give this a try and see where it takes you. Free mind-mapping tools you can use are FreeMind (Mac OS X, Windows) or MindNode (Mac OS X) or iMindMap (iPhone) or VUE.


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Idiots do Multitasking, Geniuses Single-task.


“Multi-tasking”. Say it…say it. What the hell does it mean? Seriously, take time, now, to just ponder the meaning of that word. “Multi-tasking”, what does it mean and imply?

Seriously, I don’t do multi-tasking because it’s for idiots. The smart people in the world single-task and that’s really the natural order of things. Human beings were never made to multi-task. Multi-tasking in the office was a cheap way to cut down on employing more people and to enforce a form of slavery in the modern office. Yup, slavery is not confine to third-world countries, you can find it in modern air-conditioned offices. And the slaves are those of us who ever got slap with the “you-can-multi-task” stick on note.

Single-tasking is the way we were meant to be. Because we are single-track-minded beings. Our linear minds are most efficient handling a SINGLE train of thought instead of jumping from track to track. It’s just the way we are hardwired in the nugging.

Leave the multi-tasking to computers and machines, why? Because that’s why we invented them. Computers have multi-threaded capabilities embedded into their CPUs. They are built to handle several data streams at one instance. Multi-tasking was meant for the computers. How on earth, did this virus jump from the computer to human species is beyond me. But I bet it was some idiotic HR manager who wanted to save on paying for an extra employee.

So next time someone pushes the “You can multi-task” line into your face, do the smart thing. Reply back, “I’m single track minded, so I work best on a single-tasking model.”


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