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Bon Newsletter Issue 5: Tiny, Well-Timed Treats

This month, we explore tips to stay motivated when you lose your creative energy.

Hi there! ✋ Welcome to Bon's monthly newsletter capturing the transformative impact of programs around the world. This month, we are tackling motivation - or rather, the lack of it. With summer dragging on and the pandemic lingering, how do we overcome mental blocks to keep designing impactful programs?

- Chris Batchelder

100 Seconds on Programs

It takes time, effort and dedication to design and run meaningful programs. How can you stay motivated and keep creating when life gets in the way?

We have all been there. The power of a productive morning, the charge of a thought-provoking lecture, the boost of a chance meeting with an old acquaintance... suddenly it all fades away, replaced by a dragging restlessness. Loss of motivation is a creative professional's worst nightmare. So what can you do to restore your creative energy when the afternoon slump or the summer doldrums are dragging you down?

Learning by Resting. If you've been toiling through the summer months designing a new program, the feeling of running into a creative wall might just be your brain's way of telling you it's time to take a break. After all, the brain is the most energy-intensive organ in the human body, accounting for up to 20% of the body's energy use at any given time. Rather than push through, learn to embrace these signals as an opportunity to pause and reflect. Coaches praise the benefits of planned recovery periods for athletes; your brain deserves the same opportunity. Moreover, the brain is programmed to solve problems while you sleep, so you are more likely to come back to the problem with fresh energy and a clear head!

Tiny, Well-Timed Treats. Motivation comes in two forms: autonomous ("I want to do this for myself") and controlled ("If I don't do this, something bad will happen"). Although autonomous motivation is the ideal, there are times when you need to get something done but your "why" feels less like a massive transformative purpose and more like a defeated whine. In a recent article for the New York Times, writer Cameron Walker suggests rewarding yourself with tiny, well-timed treats when your autonomous motivation is lagging. Consider fixing yourself a mug of hot chocolate or making tea in a special mug before diving back into a project. The work will still be there, but you'll have a smile on your face!

Make a Plan. Regular bouts of demotivation can be caused by your circadian rhythm, hormonal cycles or a prolonged period of stress such as this past year. By recognizing, and accepting, that periods of demotivation will happen, you can plan ahead to minimize the impact of (predictable) external factors on your productivity. Treat yourself to a nature walk or a quick yoga break in the mid-afternoon. If you can, schedule major work deliverables around your monthly cycle. And, perhaps most important after an unprecedented year, practice being kind to yourself. Recent studies have show that practicing self-compassion can boost your resilience to stay motivated and overcome challenges.

We'd love to hear from you! How do you stay motivated during a creative slump? What are your go-to tricks to re-energize and get back in the game? Drop us a line and let us know!

What We're Up To

Work, work, work. But that's a good thing! Our clients inspire us! We've had a busy summer working hard on amazing projects for amazing clients. We love working for them and are grateful that they trust us to create positive impact for them. Thanks to our wonderful clients!

What's Inspiring Us...

News from interstory

interstory is a global professional network created and supported by Bon Education that connects people building programs for a better world.

We are making the world a better place through programs! We are a global network of program directors, L&D managers, community organizers, civil servants, marketing and CSR professionals who support each other in creating, leading and managing high-impact programs.

Each month, we host gatherings, workshops and networking events to learn from each other and gather insights for designing and leading programs for a better world. To become a member of our community, sign up at Membership is free!

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

― Marcel Proust

The End