“Follow completion with a reward.”

“Follow completion with a reward.”

We all have ways of unwinding after a long period of hard work. Maybe it’s a long day and you’re finally home to relax. Maybe you’ve just handed in a paper. Maybe you’ve completed a project. Whatever it is, take some time and truly appreciate the hard work you put into it, reflect on why it mattered, and then indulge in a little victory celebration.

For many who still remember their college years, it was not uncommon to head out to a bar following the submission of a major project, or finishing a final exam. A “victory celebration” can take many different forms. It could be a night in to relax. It could be some exercise. And yes, it can be a night of shenanigans. However you celebrate, be sure you do something to reward yourself so that the next time you are in the thick of things, you have something to look forward to.

Having something to look forward to can be a powerful motivator when energy runs low. We are so used to instant gratification that we can sometimes lose sight of the big picture. Having a reward to look forward to is a good way to stay focused on the bigger picture, and push ourselves that extra stretch to get done what needs doing.

In the long run, this little break to celebrate small and large victories is a great way to prevent burnout. In the time we are relaxing, we are recouping, giving our minds and bodies a chance to relax. Emotionally, we should all give ourselves some freedom from stress immediately after finishing something.

With increasingly busy lives, taking this moment to pause a little longer than usual, and indulge in the things we most enjoy, immediately after finishing something big, is critical to our long term happiness, and short term motivation.


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