Forcing Functions Push You Further
I’m not a betting man, but I bet parachutes aren’t on your mind.
In fact, I’m sure that you haven’t thought about parachutes in a long time. I am betting that you are like me in a sense that you don’t ever think about parachutes.
The only time I think about parachutes is when I am on a plane.
You know what would make me obsess about parachutes?
If I jumped out a place.
That is a forcing function.
A forcing function is a tool that forces a decision some kind. And they are powerful.
They don’t have to get to life or death though for effectiveness.
Let’s bring the camera in a little more to something that isn’t so extreme; your alarm clock.
Alarm clocks force you to decide as they go off. It isn’t a life or death decision (most days), but it is useful in making you decide.
You might select snooze, but you do decide.
There are frameworks like the LEAN Framework that build on this concept to help people do amazing things.
I want to make things even simpler.
There are two tools that you can build into your starting small toolkit that will push you further. They both work with reminders and deal with uncomfortability.
For your idea, select a date for you to do something public with what you learn. (Reminder)
When you decide the time, tell your friend that remembers EVERYTHING (we all have one, it was the person you didn’t want to tell when you read “tell”). (Forcing Function)
ex. I want to learn how to write HTML, I promise to make a website for my photos by November, I am going to tell Bobby along with the date.
Forcing showing your work:
When you work on something, use a Porodomo timer. (Reminder)
During the “long break,” snap a picture of what you are doing and put it on Social Media. Start an anonymous Twitter handle if you worry about identity. (Forcing Function)