Combine Bets With Personal Obligations To Commit To Projects

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]

Comments

  • 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

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