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Sometimes the key to being more inspired is feeling more in control. Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, reports that four aspects of daily life affect our sense of self-direction; he refers to them as time, team, tasks, and technique.
Pink recommends doing an "autonomy audit" by asking yourself how much control you have over...

1. How you spend your day (time)
2. The people you spend it with (team)
3. Your main responsibilities (tasks)
4. The strategies you use to fulfill them (technique)

When you rate each area on a scale of one to ten, typically one area will rank considerably lower than the others, and that's the one you want to address.

It's okay to think small: Pink, a proponent of the Rome-wasn't-built-in-a-day school, believes that human progress is a matter of slow, steady advancements. At the end of each day, ask yourself, "Did I make progress in my weakest area today?"

Some days the answer will be no—and that's okay, too. The next morning you'll find that you wake up with more resolve.

Next: How to tap into what really motivates you

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