You know those little voices that tell you you need to mow the lawn, finish your blog post, take out the rubbish and other things you need to do? They’re normally thought of as a nuisance but financial weblog Mr Money Moustache argues they can be a helpful tool to achieve our goals.
Instead of using these voices to reinforce how much you suck they are designed to keep us on top of our tasks. You’ll notice these voices never occur when we’re deep into work, only in times such as playing Modern Warfare 3 for the fourth straight hour. Mr Money Moustache found he could put these voices to work for him:
While I was actually working hard, the voices were silent. By building up a cushion or buffer of hard work, I could even take a short break without experiencing nagging. But the NVS would always return. Another trick I learned was that by scheduling my time out in advance, to include plenty of work, but also a fair amount of play, I could trick them, since they would focus on the work entries in my calendar while I snuck away to play.
But then I would invariably deviate from my calendar and start freestyling at life again and guess who I’d find rolling up right next to me on a skateboard, full of helpful hints?
If you use these voices as a motivator and actually work to get stuff done you’ll find that you’ll get on top of your task list and won’t be beating yourself up. You can actually enjoy your Firefly marathon on Netflix in peace without nagging yourself to do something productive because, hey, you’re on top of things.
Embracing the Nagging Voices of Success [Mr Money Moustache]