Are you familiar with self-activation? It’s the art of being productive all on your own — no outside motivations or influencers required. You think it, you do it. It’s that simple.

This technique is hard enough to master on your own, but what about when you have a team of people working under you? If you’re self-activating while everyone else is relying on other methods of productivity, things can become uneven rather quickly. You work on your own time, while everyone else needs an outside push to get things done — see how this can get sticky quickly?

The good news is that self-activation isn’t something that is only usable for one person and one person alone. Teams and businesses can implement self-activation strategies into their entire infrastructure early on in order to maintain a status quo that gets things done. The only problem? You have to walk before you can run.

Employee accountability.

True self-activation means there is no outside influence pushing you to work. It’s simply your desire to do it that gets the job done. However, it’s hard to go from an outside influence to absolutely none cold turkey. It’s instead important to wean teammates off of influences little by little.

Major influences are usually internal, like saying “I’ll buy myself something nice if I complete this project under budget.” Instruct your team to throw away this idea and instead start relying on each other as a motivation tool. This removes the influence from something personal and instead on the will to work in order to appease someone else. Employees are usually receptive to this kind of motivational tool that keeps them informed of each other’s progress while still having a reason to stay motivated.

Empower them through training.

Self-activation isn’t something you can just learn on your own, ironically. It takes practice and knowledge of how to remove outside productivity influencers from your life. The easiest way to accomplish this? Train them to do so from the start.

To be totally self-reliant is to first rely on someone else to teach you to do so. Teach employees and team members how to activate their own productivity and they’ll surely be receptive to the idea.

Amazing mantras.

Sometimes all it takes to change someone’s attitude are a few simple words. “I know I can do this” and “I want to do this on my own” can be all it takes to make an employee change the way they look at productivity.

Start by instilling this sense of belief into them yourself. “I know you can do it” and “you can do this on your own” are good starting places, while not entirely self-activation-friendly. It’s about building someone up — if they know someone else believes in them, they’re more likely to believe in themselves. When they do believe they can do it, they will.


Something like self-activation is tricky to implement within a whole business, but it is possible. If you start early and work with your employees (both one-on-one and as a group), you’ll be able to make it happen.