30 Day Writing Challenge

Abuse Social Pressure to Become a More Productive Person

Have you ever given yourself a goal, but didn't follow through? Of course you have. We all have! When we tell ourselves "Ah, I should really clean my room today", let's be honest, the chances of it getting done are pretty low. Why? Because there are usually zero consequences for not cleaning your room.

What you need to do is hold yourself accountable, but how? Maybe you've tried creating to do lists with strict schedules for things that you know really need to get done. If you're like me, that may have worked for a while, but eventually, your brain realizes that those deadlines are fake. So how do you win? How do you defeat your brain and accomplish your goals?

By using social pressure to your advantage. When you can't hold yourself accountable, you need someone else to help you. The reason that school and work deadlines are effective is that the consequences are real. Similarly, if you tell someone that you're going to do something, there are real social consequences to not doing that thing. Especially if that person asks you if you completed your goal later on.

However, the concept even works if you don't verbally tell someone about your goal. It works in the form of an online blog, even if no one reads it! When you make something public on the internet, it has the potential to reach billions of people. Will it? Almost definitely not, but even the fear of someone reading it tends to hold people accountable to what they wrote.

For example, if you want to learn to play a song on the piano, write a post detailing that in a week, you will post a video/audio recording of you playing the new song. Even if no one reads it, there is always the possibility that maybe years later, someone will stumble upon the post, and notice that there was no follow up a week later. To that person, you may seem lazy, unmotivated, and not worthy of trust.

So, next time that you really need to get something done, consider using social pressure. If you don't follow through, it could make you look pretty bad. If that's something that you're not willing to live with, social pressure can help make you more productive.