How do you motivate yourself for work you don't want to do?
I find myself facing this question often, because I have a project that I am very enthusiastic about, but I often have to put it aside to do work that I find less than interesting. I’ve noticed that I often use the psychological trick of “approximation” on myself. That is, if I have to start some work that I don’t find particularly compelling, I’ll find a way to approach it through an angle that is interesting and motivating for me. Even if I don’t end up using that angle, it makes it easier for me to get into thinking about a project.
I also find that just getting started (in my line of work, writing my name and a title and first sentence on the page, haha) is the hardest part. If my work were a chemical reaction, it has a very high activation energy. But after I take that difficult first step, it’s pretty easy to keep going.
What tricks do you use on yourself to motivate yourself to work? Or do you not need to use any tricks?