OK, the good news is that my homunculus is on-board:  "Listen boss, no more procrastinating, you hear?  If you waste any more time, I'm going to get really cranky and that will be bad news for you."  However, the really bad news is that my homunculus is a terrible motivator.  Why?  Because he's framing our goal as an avoidance goal: something NOT to do.  Unfortunately, thinking about something, even in a negative way, is just giving the bad-thing too much of our valuable attention.  Time to re-frame the problem.

Goals can be thought of in two ways: avoidance (don't, stop, no) and approach (do, go, yes).  For example, I could say to myself: "Self, stop procrastinating."  I could also say: "Self, do one task today".  By framing goals as approach goals, we're much more likely to succeed because we are turning our attention to what we want to do.  In contrast, by thinking about what not to do, we are focusing on the very thing we're trying to avoid.  This is the trap of thought suppression in action: don't think about a pink elephant.


Task: Frame your productivity goals for today as approach goals.

Info: Bottom line: be nice to yourself.  You could say: "Don't procrastinate." But that's mean.  Instead, say: "Just complete that one nagging task and see how you feel."  Every time you find yourself thinking of a motivational issue in terms of avoidance, re-frame the problem in terms of approach.

Goal: Feel good about your goals for the day.

You may have noticed that I've added some advertisements to The Happy Homunculus.  Yes, I'm a sell out.  But, I also want to make some cash!  So, if you see an ad that's relevant to you, do me a favor and click, click, click!  

If clicking ads is distasteful to you, then maybe you'd like to check out The Procrastination Equation.  The book inspired all of this week's DMGs. Thanks :)

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