I had a fun idea while finishing a school assignment…
AGENDAS ARE BORING!
I think keeping agendas are boring, do you not agree? I had a client who I worked with a while back who had a bad memory. I told them to start keeping a daily log using their iPhone. I told her to put down the date in her iPhone’s “Notes” feature, and then every time she did something novel – whether for fun or for work – to write it down in a succinct manner. But she did not take to the idea, and I found she stopped recording her entries after around a week. Albeit, I was angry! How can you not do something so simple yet so detrimental for your sanity? (“Given the time constraint, I think I have the proverbial need to f**king know what I did yesterday” – Anonymous). I have a bad memory, as well, and that does not keep me from logging in every moment I do something relevant to my sanity. But I had a fun solution, and you may want to try this for a later time. In fact, I will make a video about this.
MAKE IT A GAME!
I then realized she could make a game out of this. Why not reward herself 5 Points every time she recorded a task? I went further than that: I then told her to also write down the tasks she had to do tomorrow (2 Points for each). Every time she completed a task from the day before, she would be rewarded 10 Points. When she reached 200 Points, I would give her an incentive to a few free sessions. She actually saw great success…and it is also something you can begin to do with your own task-keeping time: make this whole thing a game! Do not just keep an agenda; enjoy one. After all, it is necessary for many of us to keep track of our days, our nights, and even our “tomorrows.”
I think we could all benefit from this method.
You cannot simply say you will reward yourself with Points without an incentive behind it. This means simply: adding a reward to your Points. I found that we can do this without actually giving ourselves something free. What about registering a $10 gift card to Starbucks in your own name? When you reach a certain set of Points, such as 100 Points, you get to use that card. I did this once, and told the cashier to put a timestamp on it: if I did not turn it in within the next week, I would lose that $10. I have a friend who trades stocks. This is another example. He could say that every time he reached a certain number of Points for his tasks, he invests $50 more into a stock he enjoys.
Imagine what happens when that stock makes him $100 in return!
THE RINGING BELL…
For those who have not had the experience of knowing the “Pavlov’s Dogs” theory: Ivan Pavlov once saw that his dogs salivated every time he brought them food. He decided to try a little behavioral modification thing: he would ring a bell before bringing the food. After a certain period of time, the dogs began to associate the ringing bell with food, causing them to salivate even when not in the presence of food! That is what we called in the Psychology world: “association” or “conditioning.” There are many types, but Pavlov marked the theme.
MY UPCOMING PROJECT
Do not rush into this method. I am already in the works of developing a social network or an app out of this idea, so as of today’s publication, this idea has already been copyrighted under my name. By the time you read this, I will have pitched the idea, so remember: patent pending! However, this does not mean you have to use my app to do this. You can actually just do what I listed above: drawing upon your own systematic observations on a day-to-day basis and coming up with a reward. Even if the reward costs you money (i.e. 200 Points allows you to go shopping), it is still going to associate the time you spent completing tasks with a reward.
Just because Pavlov rang the bell did not mean he was not spending money on dog food!
STAY TUNED FOR MORE
As we digress into this subject, once again I must remind you that I am giving you the free version of this advice.
The app will also be free. But because it has not been launched yet does not mean you cannot find a way to incentivize this yourselves! Remember, life is a journey. That journey often requires us to look behind ourselves and see where our footsteps came from. And like a map, we also need to know where we are headed. Begin to digress even a few seconds every couple of hours to write down what you did. If you did nothing, write it down; if you went shopping, write it down. Reward yourself for this, and give yourself some slack! You are a human being; do not be upset if you miss a day. But start incentivizing your agenda and you are set!