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Commitment Devices

First, give your friend $100. If you get the task done by 5 PM, you get your $100 back. If it doesn’t, you lose the $100.

Or make it $200 that the friend doesn’t keep — they donate it to some weird organizations, in your name.

Get the picture? That’s a commitment device.

@cristian510

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“Positive” Procrastination

At the top of your to-do list, put a couple of daunting, if not impossible, tasks that are vaguely important-sounding (but really aren’t) and seem to have deadlines (but really don’t). 

Then, farther down the list, include some doable tasks that really matter.

dash is simply a short burst of focused activity during which you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item for a very short period of time—perhaps as little as just one minute.

The first thing is to take one minute and just write down the steps you need to do to finish the task - just a rough draft, at first, and that’s it. 

Now there is nothing else to think about, and there is no way to screw this task up. Everything is laid out and you can just start working on it.

If you’re really going to be motivated, you need to feel something. Having a rational goal in mind or thinking you want something just isn’t enough.

What moves you? What inspires you? Try that. 

  1. Manage your mood throughout the day. Do the little things that keep you positive. Get enough sleep. Eat regularly. Take breaks.
  2. Make your list of to-dos with the terrifying stuff at the top and the easier stuff at the bottom.
  3. Do a one minute dash and write out the steps needed to beat the first problem. 
  4. Still too difficult? Use positive procrastination and do one of the things lower on this list, rather than #1.
  5. Establish your commitment device. Hand your friend that money.

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