Angela Cathey, MA & Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D
Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA
Brett DiNovi & Associates
Whether you are a student, a leader, or a professional care provider you are at your best when you are motivated. ‘Motivation’ is not as difficult and amorphous to build at it may sound. You can use behavioral science and principles like ‘Premack’ to make yourself more productive and motivated during your workday.
‘Premack’ refers to the behavioral principle that indicates requiring oneself to complete a less frequently completed task before allowing oneself to complete a more frequently completed task will increase the rate of responding on the less frequently completed task. This may sound a bit abstract so let’s break it down.
If you dislike doing something, for example – checking your budget, you will tend to avoid it and complete it less frequently. When you tend to do a task more frequently, for example: meeting with staff or going to the break room, this task is likely more reinforcing for you than checking your budget. By requiring yourself to check your budget before you meet with staff or go to the break room you increase the probability of checking your budget.
This simple motivational strategy can help you stay productive and checking off those tasks which you might otherwise avoid. In a recent video by Brett DiNovi & Associates, Brett DiNovi explains how he uses Premack to stay motivated and high achieving throughout his day. Brett describes how he notes those tasks that he tends to avoid (checking financials, etc.) and those which he tends to experience as positive and seek out (meeting with staff, etc.). Brett describes how he starts each day with those tasks he avoids and then lets himself engage in those more desirable tasks. With this day structure, you not only increase your productivity but you maximize your morning focus and energy use on completing difficult tasks.
If you would like to learn more helpful productivity hacks make sure to check out the full video, and to subscribe to Brett DiNovi’s YouTube channel and let him know what you would like to see in future videos. Also be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!
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Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA has the unique and distinguished experience of studying the principles of applied behavior analysis under the rigorous scrutiny of both Dr. Julie S. Vargas (formerly Skinner) and Dr. E.A. Vargas at West Virginia University’s internationally recognized program. For the past 26 years, Brett has used behavior analytic principles to create large scale change across school districts, Fortune 500 companies using principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), and across individual learners. Brett has been a OBM consultant in Morgantown WV, an instructor at West Virginia University, a guest lecturer at numerous universities, a speaker on multiple Comcast Newsmakers TV programs, an expert witness in due process hearings, has publications in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and has been in in executive leadership positions across schools and residential programs nationwide. In addition to an award from South Jersey Biz Magazine for “Best Places to Work,” an award for “Best of Families” in Suburban Magazine, and the distinguished “Top Ranked U.S. Executives” award, Brett’s proudest accomplishment is being a role model and father for his daughter and two stepchildren (one of which has autism). Brett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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