Monday, September 19, 2005

Rewards

How do you reward yourself as you work?

I'm big on both small and large rewards. Delayed gratification is one theory I regularly apply. If I grade five more quizzes, I'll have dessert and watch the Daily Show. After I make it through my Monday/Tuesday gauntlet, I get to sit and enjoy the new Onion and "Savage Love." There are many things -- walks to get ice cream, a nap, taking 20 minutes to finish my current mystery novel, etc. Of course, I rarely just DO these things without attaching them to some minor achievement (guilt being the raison d'etre of a grad student, of course -- I have to really deserve a break before taking one!)

I've also used somewhat larger rewards to mark the completion of each chapter. A nice pair of shoes, kitchen appliances (ice cream maker! sensing a theme? and having a dishwasher installed, something that I love more than someone should love a material object), and a vacation. I've still got a Chapter Five completion reward sitting out there... I'm thinking of something made by LeCreuset. Things that are somewhat "frivolous" but are also ways to pamper myself for all the hard work.

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