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Progress is killing my work (softly)

What can you do to prevent it?

Isnโ€™t it great the feeling of accomplishing a task? A jolt of dopamine right at your desk? For some, itโ€™s the peak of their day; all those check boxes perfectly โ€œcheckedโ€ and weโ€™re finally able to do what we want to. Time for some self-indulgence. Facebook surfing, vending machine pounding, Pornhub sightseeing, you name it.

But is that what we really should be doing?

I mean, you did your job, kudos for that; But how often do you think about your main goal at work? Have you ever? Try to answer this:

Do you go to work to get stuff done or to get better at whatever you chose to do for a living?

If you care about getting stuff done, drop off here. Go watch Comedians in Cars getting Coffee. It's awesome. Have fun.


And for the brave ones who stayed, We should chat about progress and reward at work โ€” What kind of compensation are you giving yourself? Is it well adjusted with your primary work goals?

Think of someone whose number one objective is to lose weight. He goes to the gym and work his ass out so much he would make Schwarzenegger proud. Right after that goes to a bakery shop because he thinks he deserves a treat (I would). But wait, isnโ€™t eating healthier food part of the primary goal? So why does he say donut instead of protein bar to the cashier? Arenโ€™t food and exercise two pillars of the same purpose? Why is he blowing up his previous efforts?
Just because he did something โ€œgoodโ€ (progress) and now feels like doing something โ€œbadโ€ (reward). Well, throw the first rock the ones that never felt like that.

What I get to see nowadays is people doing their tasks to feel like theyโ€™re making progress and then treating themselves with some self-indulgence. Let me be clear and say that people should not work non-stop, itโ€™s just the reward we deserve for our job could be job-related.

If you are a Designer, as I am, after completing part of your sprint, instead of checking Jimmy Fallon's Nip Sync, try to see something work related. I knooow. BORING. But in time, you are going to feel you are getting better at what you do.

Here are some suggestions: Listen to this UX podcast, search Dribbble for something that might add some to your work or check out to find out some art inspiration.

Itโ€™s pretty hard to leave our old habits of procrastination behind. So figure out a schedule to help you do it. Otherwise, you are going to get back to your old self faster than I can eat a donut (12 parsecs*).

Karl Marx believes that โ€œWork at its best is what makes us human, it fulfils our species essence. Work allows us to live, to be creative, to flourishโ€.

If his point of view makes sense to you as it makes to me, try this new kind of reward behavior for a couple of days. Maintain your bigger goal at bay by filling yourself with interesting work related content. You will get better at what you do.

Thank you for reading,

My name is Finaga. Design Director, PorQueNรฃo. Dribbble, Twitter, Linkedin.

PS: If you are a comedy show writer, wellโ€ฆ watch as many Jimmy Fallon videos as you need to. I envy you. Bastard.

Edited by my dear friend Ana Mangeon.

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