I am not a nice person. Well, sometimes I am a nice person, but I can be downright evil at times. This morning (a few minutes ago), I was speaking with an extremely talented scholar I am working with- she was feeling stuck. With only one page of an article to go, she was letting perfectionism creep into her writing. She begin to wordsmith every sentence (prior do writing the parts she needed to finish), and was driving herself crazy.
So, what did I do?
I told her that if she did not write that one page, I would send 20 dollars of mine to a hate group that both of us find truly discussting.
And I will do it.
And you know what?
I bet I won't have to.
Sometimes, avoiding really icky consequences such as this can be enough to help us get out of our own way and finish something. Think of it- if you had to write one page a day for the next month in order for a loved one of yours to not be harmed, would you do it? Of course you would. You would stay focused, motivated, and would doggedly work to complete the task no matter what it took.
Accountability is a key to sustained motivation.