I've got this dirty secret. I blackmail someone and it takes me places.
I call it auto-blackmail, and here is how it works:
Whenever I come up against something I really don't want to do but that I know I have to do I go out of my way to tell others that I'll do it, and when it will be done.
That way, if I don't do it I'll end up looking like a fool in front of those that matter to me.
I call it 'auto blackmail', the similarities are strong enough to warrant the title. I'm sure it is not original but it works wonders for me.
Blackmail is threatening to tell on someone if they don't do something you want them to do, Auto-Blackmail is a preemptive strike, you tell those whose respect you value that you will succeed, failure, after that is no longer an option.
This in response to some of the 'how to stay focused', 'how to avoid coders block' and other posts of a similar nature that I've come across recently.
I don't have a nicer way of doing it, when self discipline fails, blackmail invariably succeeds.
Join me and use the power of blackmail whenever you feel that urge to avoid a certain piece of work (you know, the one you really should be working on right now).
In fact, there is probably a nice little project embedded here somewhere, a place where you can publicly post your next item on your todo list that you'd really like to avoid and when you will have it done, after the timer expires your whole facebook and twitter posse will be automatically informed that you've dropped the ball :)
And the actual study, "When intentions go public : Does social reality widen the intention-behavior gap?" [PDF]: