Productivity carrot: I’ve just started hating my task tracker less

I think next week I’ll double the amount of the things done and below I’ll tell you why.

Motivating with a stick

Using task management systems for personal productivity largely was guilt building exercise for me: I just add notes when I’m excited but I can’t do things and afterwards I totally forget what was so exciting about the thing I’m willing to do. So there’s no surprise I’m always nervous about reviewing my todo list (:

Homework: ask 10 people about their plans for the quarter, 2 will tell you something concrete other than “None”, interview them after the quarter, see more sad faces around.

Travelers probably have better chances of keeping their smile intact: for me it’s been easier to tell “In 3 month I’ll be in …”, book a ticket and then my airline will do everything to make sure. Done – I’ve got something accomplished!

The stick sticks!

Another problem is that ill-defined tasks seem to stay there for ages. For example I’m tasked with legally getting myself driving rights. In Ukraine that means 2+ months of wasted time.

That’s probably one of the reasons I don’t have Premium account with Trello (although they’re totally awesome). Staring at a bunch of text saying about things I haven’t done or I’m supposed to do during next few months is a super frustrating experience for me

Carrots time

I would not write a post just to complain. I seem to have discovered a solution to part of my pains.

The idea is to have a super sexy image celebrating the results of my work

  1. More task items done means more images reminding me of pleasant emotions
  2. No need for other people to evaluate that to release another dose of endorphin (and my experience says that autonomy drives productivity improvements)
  3. I guess I will end up doing nothing but moving pictures back and forth thus evolving to finally get myself a Pinterest account

Screenshot 2015-04-08 21
Image: I’ve figured out a workaroundish way of attaching the rear view mirror to my bicycle helmet so I’m ready to open another endorphin flood gates


If you’re using emotions to get a bump in productivity – inject more of them into your blood stream with your task list.

(I’m already imaging myself asking my colleagues to smile for me so that I can attach that to a task tracking fixing a problem!)

Have fun, build stuff and drink responsibly – California is in drought!

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