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The Hack Technique

First pick your goals, then figure out which motivation hacks to use on the subtasks that lead to those goals—and then use far more of them than you need, so that you not only succeed, but that you do so with excitement and joy.

The Formula: Motivation = (Expectancy x Value) / (Impulsiveness x Delay)

  • Expectancy = confidence of success.
  • Value = how rewarding a task will be when you finish it & how fun it is when you’re doing it.
  • Impulsiveness = distractibility, how likely you are to put a task off and do something more pressing.
  • Delay = how far off the reward seems to be.

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  • Precommitment: Using a commitment device to choose now to limit your options later, preventing yourself from making the wrong choice in the face of temptation. Putting money on the line, publicly announcing your goals, etc.
  • Burnt Ships: List out al...

  • Make a tiny achievable goal that you can’t forget to do.
  • Track your success doing this goal.
  • Give your goal a completion date.
  • Once you complete your goal, up it to a bigger goal.

Imagine your ideal day. What do you do? Whom do you talk to? Where do you go? Pick a few goals that will bring you closer to that ideal day.

  • Find Flow
  • Find Meaning: Look for ways to connect tasks to major life goals
  • CSI Approach goals(mentioned above)
  • Optimize Your Energy
  • Productive Procrastination: If you can’t do...

  • Challenging (motivating and exciting)
  • Specific (not abstract)
  • Immediate (avoid long-delayed goals and focus on what you can do now)
  • Approach-oriented (as opposed to avoidance goals)

  • Get excited about a skill
  • While you’re excited, make time and hack up motivation to practice it
  • Learn how to practice it from reading or from a teacher
  • Start doing it right away

  • Success Spirals: Win at something small then keep leveling it up
  • Vicarious Victory: Hang out with motivated people
  • Mental Contrasting: Visualize the success you want to have and then contrast it with where you are now

  • Make a recommitment
  • Burn your ships
  • Set goal reminders
  • Timebox your tasks
  • Build useful habits
  • Schedule play before work, so you know when you’re taking a break

  • Break your goals down so the ends feel nearer
  • Let yourself plan fallaciously so you’re more motivated

The will is a process of making personal rules for ourselves that will help us reach our goals, and how much willpower we can muster is precisely how good we are at setting up these personal rules so that we prefer to keep our rules than break them.

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