Combine Bets With Personal Obligations To Commit To Projects

Maneesh Sethi hired somebody on Craigslist to slap him every time he opened up Facebook while he was working on a project. He got that project done. You don't have to hire a slapper, but you get an idea of how "precommitting" can work wonders for procrastination.

Picture: Mike Burns/Flickr

Sethi, of the Hack the System blog, writes about the ways he forces himself to commit to something: a words-per-day writing gig, a time-crunched project, a diet an exercise program — whatever he needs to get done. You've heard that paying for a gym might force you to actually go, but, no, Sethi says. What you really need is a person to get mad at you, and a monetary incentive. To wit:

I used the same tactic with Leo Babauta — for a week, I had to write for 30 minutes at 9am. Failure? $US50. And Leo ended up getting paid... I use this tactic all the time. Heck, if I don't finish the article you are reading now by 11:59 PST, I owe a friend $US250 :p

Are you trying to finish something, but just not finding the motivation to do so? Find a friend to bet with. It doesn't have to be money-one of my female friends puts her favourite dress on the line.

Have you used wagers and friendly disappointment to propel yourself toward a goal?

How To Make It Impossible To Fail [zenhabits]


    I do this all the time.
    In particular , at the moment at school for every percent I am from 100% i pay 10c to a charity. So far this year i have had to pay $33.60 which may not be much to some but for me as a high school student it is.

    The best bit for me is it seems to be working, if i was to doing this last year i would have needed to pay closer to $70 by now

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now