LinkLog: Motivation and Success

Extrinsic motivation is a great way to get people to do boring and repetitive tasks, but it actually harms performance on more creative tasks. Creativity is a surprisingly fragile thing. It comes from deep inside, and external concerns (most especially, “What will people think?”) seem to scare it away.

I spent most of my life trying to escape from boring, repetitive tasks. I don’t know how much I succeeded. My current list of things I am working on, all have an a high “Interestingness Quotient”. There are few signs that I may slip into some boring routines and I need to quickly get out of that.

One of the reasons I like software is that you can build something that can take a boring repetitive task and delegate it to some automated agent, leaving you to just do the interesting bits.

Work is never really boring if you like what you are doing. So I constantly try to find things that I like doing and see whether I can get paid to do that.