I bumped into a YouTube-video of a motivation hack. Seemed really simple, so naturally I had to test it.
Recipe: how to create motivation to do something:
Close your eyes.
Picture the thing like it's already done (a cleaned desk, for example)
FEEL GOOD about it. There has to be an emotional response here! "Mmm, what a clean desk. Man, I'm good."
Hold the clean desk in your mind, while opening your eyes and looking at the messy desk. See the contrast in your mind. Keep holding the contrast until it's impossible to resist cleaning the desk!
I've tried it at work a couple of times and have successfully managed to write a couple of documents using this. Still, I usually manage to write documents, so can't be convinced yet. Therefore I needed a proper test.
Test: cleaning my room
My room is not that bad, but it is pretty disorganized. Lots of clothes around, places no-one has seen nor touched in ages, random assortment of bits and bobs that have just ended up there, etc. The problem with this motivation hack is that you already sort of need the decision to do something. If you are standing there visualizing stuff, you have already decided to do something and the "hack" is just a small ritual to get you pumped before actually doing something.
On the other hand, I have decided to clean my room properly for about nine times during the last couple of months. I've managed to maybe take out some laundry, but that's about it. This time:
I naturally forgot to take a before picture, but it was quite different. Cleaning the room was astoundingly easy. I kept at it for about an hour or so, vacuumed it too and didn't end up reading comics or browsing cat pictures on iPad at any point, like I usually do when trying to clean up. Getting started is the hardest part, but finishing is actually even worse.
Even though I griped a bit before, this motivation hack surprisingly seems to help for both starting and getting things done properly to the end. It seems to bypass general inertia about starting something and the tendency to procrastinate somehow. Maybe visualizing stuff is a smaller start and less procrastination inducing than a blank paper waiting for an article on how to employ a cook.
Anyhoo, now I have a clean room and a somewhat corroborated motivation hack!