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Hey visakanv,

If I can show you a viable solution today will you pay me $100 as you claim in your blog post? I have a viable solution for you, but I bet you won't pay.

1 - Sign up for Gmail. It's free.

2 - Open Google Calendar.

3 - Click Create

4 - Add your motivational prompt in the 'Untitle event' field. For example, the one I'm using is "Ryan, you will die someday. Are you doing exactly what you should be doing right now to reach your goals before you die?

5 - Click the Repeat text box and set it to repeat Daily

6 - Set one pop up reminder and one email reminder.

7 - Click save.

8- Rinse and repeat for every motivational firestarting prompt you need.

9 - send paypal of $100 to ry8881@gmail.com

Good luck, -ryan

The problem with this (and similar things like the "what did you do today?" emails) is that you eventually start filtering them out and ignoring them.

I'm a bad procrastinator, my bad habits have trained me to crave novelty in a bad way.


If there's one thing my brain is good at, it's recognizing patterns that bore it and ignoring them.

If my brain can quickly postpone any number of relatively important reminders I have going off on outlook at any given time, I'm going to bet it would shut down a daily reminder to reevaluate procrastination.

I'm also not sure a daily reminder that I'm going to die would help subdue the constant existential crisis I've been in since I was 18. I have no idea if that's a good or a bad thing (that's part of the crisis) but it sure does make things more complicated than they need to be :P

I thought about the same thing. Maybe the "solution" is to make something that behaves differently every day, so you are always caught by surprise and can't ignore it.

An AI-complete motivational prompter... I think, for writers, these are known as "agents" ;)

Some people are unlucky enough to have such AI-complete entities, usually they call them "boss".

Well, in the analogy, this is a motivational service you're paying for. Agents are also, partially, a motivational service you're paying for. Bosses, on the other hand, provide a motivational service because they're paying you, and are incentivized to try to get their money's worth. (Then again, you could structure things so that workers are at the top of the corporate hierarchy, and have hiring/firing power over people they get to manage them... but not even co-ops tend to do this, and I'm not sure why.)

>Then again, you could structure things so that workers are at the top of the corporate hierarchy, and have hiring/firing power over people they get to manage them... but not even co-ops tend to do this, and I'm not sure why.

I... have wanted to do this. I have not, in part because I can't afford someone with middle-management experience, and in part because I don't have the middle-management experience required to tell if someone is good at middle-management.

We've had many discussions about this within the company. My buddy suggested a 'babysitter' while my dad suggested a 'mom'

But yeah, that's the thing... middle-management can be effective as 'chair kickers' - Hey, Luke, get back to work. but... I think that middle management generally gets in the way when it comes to decision making... and there's no way I'm letting a non-technical hire (or fire) technical people.

Now, other people have said that what you are proposing is common in the business world; they are called secretaries. But... I think that's a different dynamic. As the other comment said, "more like an olympic coach" - I don't want someone to make me more comfortable... I want someone to push me. I mean, especially when I hire people who aren't good friends already? there's a problem. They don't want to say bad things to me about my behavior. They'll criticize other employees, but not me. I mean, I'm sure it's a problem that can be overcome.

Of course, I know other people who just don't need external guidance. There really isn't any need for middle management with those folks... they just do it. For those people? Management is largely unnecessary. Unfortunately, I seem to be in the majority here; I get a lot more done under a manager, usually; though personality-wise, like many technical people, I chafe but hard when someone I see as less technically capable than myself tells me what to do. It's a problem I need to solve... or I need to start working for other people again. You can only coast on the strengths of your hires for so long (especially if you can't pay enough to /keep/ those hires for that long.)

Actually, thinking about this, I think I might actually institute a 'person X is middle manager for day Y on department Z' policy with people I have now, where X isn't a particularly senior person.

Think coaches for olympic athletes - in essence, you're hiring someone to order you when and how intensely do harsh stuff, so that it's done optimally and not at your whim..

Maybe some sort of motivational person to talk to? Someone with whom you don't mind sharing your personal failings and who knows how to get you to do better.

Sometimes they call them 'spouse' :-)

If only we had some place we could find an entrepreneur who could do something with this idea...

The questions should be specific - how do you get more specific, and, also important, how do you get the timing right? What's necessary for the prompt to fire when you can do something about it?

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