What up guys? So it is round up time.
Today i am gonna be sharing twenty one completely different apps and tools that, additional or less, force you to induce your work done.
Now to be honest right up, front none of these apps work quite like that creepy piano in the movie Coraline. None of them are gonna make your computer sprout robotic arms that grab your hands and literally make them start typing. But what they do provide are what I like to call training wheels for the brain because as I’m sure you’re well aware left to its own devices your brain is liable to get distracted by cat videos instead of actually doing the work that you have set out to do.
Now over time and with practice you can build your self-discipline and your ability to focus. But while you’re going through the early stages of that process it’s useful to use systems that provide training wheels, be they in the form of helpful limitations, commitment devices, feedback in reports or literal drill instructors with very little regard for the integrity of your eardrum.
So each of the apps that I’m gonna share with you today fits into each one of those categories, except the last one. And in fairness I did go do a search on Fiverr for affordable drill instructors but that turned up no results. So you’re on your own if you want to find your own personal Major Payne. But before you go searching for one let’s bear these apps beginning with people who be the class of commitment devices.
Commitment Device, What Are They?
What exactly is a commitment device? Well to put things simply it’s anything that creates a consequence for failing to do the thing that you’ve set up to do. All the tools during this class aim to create it painful to not do your work and there square measure quite an few of those.
Let’s begin, shall we?
The first is Beeminder.
It is no exaggeration to mention that Beminder is one in every of the first reasons why I actually have a thriving YouTube channel. Once I started on YouTube I used it to decide to commercial enterprise a replacement video each single week.
Essentially Beeminder allows you to commit to a goal either by doing more of something or less of something and allows you to put money on the line. Moreover, it’s very nerdy and it’s all about tracking data so you can hook it up to tons of different tools including Apple Health, Strava, Todoist and IFTTT, which stands for if this, then that, which easily allows you get access to almost any service on the planet.
And thanks to the presence of all those integrations the sole real limitation here is your imagination.
And there are tons of different goals that you can start putting money on in order to make sure that you are more committed to them in the future. But to give you one idea, again, for three entire years I tracked my blog’s RSS feed and made sure that I published a new blog post, and a new YouTube video every single week. And I had money on the line so I made sure that I did it.
Now in the same vein there’s another website called stickk. It’s very similar to Beeminder though it’s a little less nerdy. As with Beeminder you commit to a goal and then you create stakes or consequences in case you fail. And you can actually put money on the line though it has fewer charts and graphs and it’s generally a little bit less statistics-heavy than Beeminder is.
But on the other hand you can set supporters who can watch your progress and a referee who can email every single time you log progress and make sure that you were telling the truth.
The Most Dangerous Writing App
Moving on from there, we have an app with a much more specific purpose called The Most Dangerous Writing App. If you, like me, sometimes have trouble getting started writing or while you’re writing you have trouble with your inner critic silencing you or trying to edit things when
you should simply be obtaining thoughts out of your head then this can be associate degree app that you just may need to use as a result of once you begin a session with either a
time goal or a word count goal you have got to stay writing.
And if you stop writing for long enough it fully deletes your work.
Not only that but it also has a hardcore mode. If you check this box and start a session you aren’t gonna be able to see anything on the screen except for the last letter that you typed because when you sort letters they flash on screen however everything else is blurred.
And this, once again, silences that inner critic, makes you just get things out of your head and edit later.
Alright so now let’s talk about the Strides app. The reason I put this on this list isn’t because it forces you to work by putting money on the line on anything like that but it does take advantage of what’s been called the Seinfeld Strategy.
The comedian Jerry Seinfeld is famous for having honed his joke writing talent by making sure he wrote a new joke every single day.
To keep track of his progress he would mark it on a calendar hanging from his wall.
And because he could see that calendar he didn’t want to break the streak. He had this visual reminder of his progress that he didn’t want to tarnish. So this don’t break the streak strategy can be very powerful because we humans like to be consistent in our behavior and we don’t want to see those chains broken.
Now while you could definitely use a calendar on your wall to do this that’s not an app so it doesn’t belong on this list. And while you could use any habit tracking app in the world to do it as well because almost all of them show your streak, I do want to give a specific shout out to the Strides app because in that particular app, when you’re creating a goal, you have the option to create a goal for your streaks.
So instead of just watching it count up to infinity you can actually set a 30, or 60, or 90-day streak goal which means your 30-day challenges can become that much more official.
Next up we’ve got coach me which used to be called Lift back when I started using it as a college student but now it’s called coach.me because it has a big focus on, you guessed it, coaching.
Now coach.me does have a habit tracking app that’s very similar to a lot of others out there but what I want to highlight in this post is their coaching services. Because if you read from the beggining of this post and did want your own personal Major Payne, wanted your own personal drill instructor, this is probably the closest that you’re going to get for not a whole lot of money.
Because they’ve got personal coaching services for building new habits and staying productive for about $15 a week, a lot more expensive than everything else on this list. But if you do want personalized coaching and you don’t have a friend who can be an accountability partner this could be an option.
Of course another option could be to use the entire internet as your accountability partner which is what I’ve done by essentially rolling my own commitment device using Google Sheets. So a couple years ago I set a goal for myself to read 25 pages of non-fiction every single day for three months without fail. And while I did have an accountability partner in real life, I also wanted to make my goal public and I wanted people to be able to track my progress over time.
So I created a public facing Google spreadsheet which tracked the book I was reading and how many pages I read every single day and then I made it public on my website so people could call me out if I failed to read.
And the last tool that I’m gonna mention here in the commitment devices section is something that you might not have expected.
Skype or Discord!
Now for those of you who don’t know, Discord is an app that is primarily used by gamers to chat with either by voice or by text and it’s a very cool app.
In fact we have a college info geek official Discord which you can find surfing the internet. But I’m going to suggest using the voice chat feature here to set up what I like to call a work group. Back when I was in college I set up one of these with a couple of blogger friends who each lived in different states. And every once in a while we would get on Skype, we’d be on a call but we wouldn’t talk to each other. We would simply be on the call and be working and this was in order to simulate the experience of sitting in a room with study buddies or accountability partners getting work done and just getting the motivation from knowing the other people were also getting their work done.
So even though I wasn’t physically in the room with my blogger friends I knew that on the other line of that Skype call, even if it was silent, was somebody who was getting work done. And that made me more motivated to do my work, as well.
Do you read more, why don’t you on to part two?