Finding Motivation to Do Your Best Work
In Chapter 3 of 11 in his 2011 interview, education reporter Yoav Gonen answers "When are You at Your Best?" Gonen notes how working in a deadline driven environment motivates him to do his best work. As a result, he has made it a point to find work where deadlines are fundamental to the job. Yoav Gonen is the education reporter for the New York Post newspaper in New York City. He earned a Masters of Journalism degree from New York University and a BA in English from the University of Michigan.
Erik Michielsen: When are you at your best? Yoav Gonen: You know, I mean, I chose a profession that has really strict deadlines everyday and the reason I did is because that's really the only way to get me-- to get me moving. I mean, I work best under those deadlines. And I actually like - I like the crunch time when basically you have no option but to get things done. At that point, you're on instinct, you don't have any time to think about stuff, so I like that pressure sometimes, you know, if you have that every day of the week in a row, sometimes it gets to be a bit too much, but luckily, normally, you have a few busy days and then a slow day in between so... Erik Michielsen: Is it always been the case or have you found that you work best on deadlines as you've kind of moved in your career? Yoav Gonen: I think it's always been the case but I just I didn't know it. But, uh you know, I was a procrastinator like most people in college, etc. And - but you know, since I came into journalism, I've been aware that that's what make me work best. Erik Michielsen: What motivates you to be better at what you do? Yoav Gonen: I find my stories that have an emotional investment. I'm willing to-- I find myself at 1:00am in the morning at home on the laptop looking up stuff about a school or getting up early and getting to work right away, but the other thing that I've really, that I've actually learned about myself, probably recently, is that I have a very strong sense of - a very strong desire for kind of justice when the stories that really engage me a lot are the ones where I feel like somebody has been wronged. And that by writing about it, I might be able to kind of reverse that or at least seek some kind of balance for that. And those stories I get very, you know, passionate about and emotionally connected to.