Rewarding Yourself?

Many time-management books recommend rewarding oneself with "token" rewards for completing segments of a larger project, cracking down and doing a particularly dreaded task, etc. Does anyone have any suggestions for good "token rewards" that are inexpensive and not junk food?

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Mine is really...

.... um.... silly? During the day, using the PCEO ETP (love those acronyms!) if I keep on task, and finish a project without distraction (2-4 hours long) I reward myself with a few minutes reading email, rss or DIYPlanner. ;-) Otherwise, I keep working. That's my only "reward" system, but it helps to keep me on task. ;-)

-Jon

Jon's idea is good...

"Reward" yourself with a small time block of doing something pleasant.
Reading a book
Taking a walk
Working on a favorite hobby

"Reward" does not have to mean "calories"

The difficulty is in remaining motivated. Unfortunately, food and sex are some of the only forms of pleasure that one does not get tired of.
Making a supreme effort to keep this thread clean, I would certainly be motivated to do several household chores by the promise of cuddling with my wife to watch a mutulally favorite 30 minutes of TV.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Hee hee!

Laughing with, not at. :-D

haha

"Unfortunately, food and sex are some of the only forms of pleasure that one does not get tired of."

he he :)

Be blessed!
~Rachel <><

70% dark organic and fair

70% dark organic and fair trade chocolate, with espresso beans by Camino is not junk food.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

I buy myself 'Extra Fun Time'

Every time I'm 'good' all day -- do everything on my To Do task, don't screw around too much on the internet, put in two solid hours writing, etc. -- I deposit $20 into my "Extra Fun Time" fund.

This money is used to pay someone else to do tasks that I otherwise would do myself. Recent expenditures have included paying a neighbor kid to wash our dog; paying to have my tablecloths professionally laundered & pressed; paying a neighbor to bake six dozen cookies for the bake sale I agreed to help with; paying a painter to come in to do the windows/wood trim in the room I'm redecorating. (I like painting walls, it's the finickly trim stuff that drives me nuts.)

And then I go off and do something fun with the time I'd othewise be using for that task. Bliss!

"Extra Fun Time" fund - nice idea

That's an idea I will try out. Thanks SB :)
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

'Me time' as a reward

I always have an extra few "me time" items on my actions list. These are small personal things that I want to do each week - doing them earlier than planned is a useful reward for finishing something early.

For exampole:
Each Friday afternoon I take a 15 minute tea break and have a cup of my favourite herbal tea at a nearby cafe. But if I finish a particularly dreaded task I could reward myself with an out of the office tea break on that day.

One of my current projects is to reduce my weight. One of the rewards I've put on my list is the new Harry Potter book. When reach a certain milestone in my project then I can buy it but not before. It's a good incentive to keep on track and a reward for completing a segment of my project.

Other rewards could be magazines, stationery, lunch in a park, a visit to a museum, etc. These all work especially well as incentives if you tell a friend or colleague "I can't do/go to/buy ... until"

"Self-Directed Behavior" by David L. Watson and Roland G. Tharp

If you can get your hands on a copy of the College Psych text book "Self-Directed Behavior" by David L. Watson and Roland G. Tharp it gives a really good break down on how token award systems can work.

You can do a direct exchange, e.g.: a large reward for accomplishing a big task; or you can give a small "token" award for meeting small goals that can be exchanged into something bigger, which isn't that different than using a sticker chart for a child. You can assign point values, depending upon degree of difficulty or length of time; depending upon the accumulated amount you can cash in and apply it towards one or more things of varying value. e.g.: an hour of TV or going to the movies.

I highly recommend the book for anyone looking for an analytical and methodical way to change a bad habit. It is practical, down to earth, and very readable. I think it's in its 9th edition. Even used recent editions are fairly expensive (because it's a college text book) but you can pick up older editions on Ebay for really short money.
~Cath

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LINK - at least 30 copies for $1 ($3-$5 shipping, but that's still cheap)

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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)