Saturday, December 29, 2007

Outsource your motivation

Robin Hanson's advice on dealing with procrastination;

* Make a firm commitment to your boss or partner to finish a task by a certain time. This will make delays more embarrassing and difficult to cover up
* Strip your workspace of all distractions, from your iPhone to your Xbox. Then turn off the "ding" on your email. "We have all these temptations," says Steel. "We've made our world motivationally toxic."
* Many people say that they put things off because they are too tired to deal with them, so get a good night's sleep and try tackling the most unpleasant and difficult tasks early in the day.
* Set a series of realistic goals. Some counsellors and therapists recommend drawing up weekly, daily or even hourly goals. The more readily sidetracked you are, the more you need to divide your main task into smaller chunks.
* Promise yourself a reward for each goal that you meet.
* Believe in yourself. "The old saying is true," says Steel. "Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you are probably right."
* Outsource your motivation. Get someone else to regularly goad you into action.

See also Economics and New Year’s Resolutions

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