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How to hack your motivation and squash your to do list

If one thing unites entrepreneurs, it’s our high expectations. We demand a lot from ourselves and are merciless in our self criticism when we don’t do enough.

It’s good to want to do more. When entrepreneurs feel like they’re not doing enough, they’re usually right. If you actioned even half of the things you tell yourself you should, your life would be transformed.

Some folks will tell you to suppress ambition, to live simply and go easy on yourself.

My view is different.

Relentless ambition should be encouraged. It should also be balanced by our desire and need for the zen. For happiness in the present.

Through the impossible tug of war between fulfillment (aka stillness) and desire (movement), we will create extraordinary lives. We might even make a difference.

So keep an eye on “balance” and avoid any serious burn-outs. If you’re an aspirational business owner, read on. You’re about to find out how to finally do what you tell yourself you should – by hacking your motivation.

For my entire adult life, I’ve been obsessed with motivation.

Confession time: It’s because I was very, very lazy.

Growing up at the tail end of the most sustained period of economic growth in human history, I was apathetic toward almost everything. I just didn’t care for “trying”.

After all, we don’t have to look far to make ourselves feel good. All kinds of seductively inticing instant gratification are readily available these days. It’s a dangerous world for hedonists! When pretty much everything is instantly available to us, why bother trying?

My journey as an entrepreneur was a constant wrestle with the forces of motivation and procrastination. And it meant nothing ever really got done.

Until I figured out how to hack my mind and ignite the fire.

Motivation Hack 1: Social Dynamics

Evolutionary psychologists believe that social concerns are one of our most powerful behavioral levers. In other words, we really care about what other people think.

This is a dynamic that is hardwired into our mammalian brain. Humans are social creatures and for most of our history, our survival has depended on the support of our community. We’re all in this together, so our fear of being ostracized is a serious one.

In the modern world, this means we’re far more likely to follow through on a commitment where failure would mean a loss of social status. An entrepreneur will always show up to a slightly pointless lunch meeting, even after spending the whole morning procrastinating the important and creative work that counts.

Knowing this is essential for motivational manipulation. When we make a commitment to another human, a special gravity tugs at us. We follow through on our social commitments, even when they’re not nearly as important as other tasks on our list.

To hack the mind, simply apply a social commitment to your most important goals. Build a board of directors, ship prototypes to a mentor/friend or create a formal accountability relationship. Whatever makes you commit action.

Motivation Hack 2: Kill discouragement – measure everything

The biggest contribution to action paralysis is the sickening knowledge that you’ve been totally ineffective. The less you do, the more overwhelmed you feel. A mountain is built from the molehill of your ineffectiveness.

It’s a slippery spiral and measurement is the only medicine.

Staying conscious of what you’re really getting done is a phenomenal way to avoid wildly over or under-exaggerated productivity. Our imagination runs wild and we frequently lie to ourselves about our effectiveness. The only solution is a rigid external measurement system.

Track what you’re getting done, record the hours and write a gratitude journal about it. Use this to support….

Motivation Hack 3: Commit to a productivity benchmark

Productivity is such a shifting, morphing concept it’s very difficult to gauge objectively. Thus, it’s difficult to maintain.

The trick is to group and elevate some tasks to an all new definition: The game-changing ones.

There can be hundreds of to-do items on your list, but entrepreneurs perform well when they aim to define and complete three game-changing actions a week. Only. 

The rule of three is a powerful one. It’s a number optimized for focus and memory. It tickles our neural pathways right. As a productivity benchmark, it absolutely rocks.

By committing to three game changing actions a week, you set a benchmark for a baseline of ass-kicking productivity. It is only on this foundation that entrepreneurs are able to find peace. You’ll never have a weekend as relaxing as the one that follows a week where your three game-changing commitments were fulfilled.

The point is not so much to commit to specific items on your list. That gets overwhelming and requires a constant re-adjustment of strategy. You’ll be forever checking your list.

Instead, make your only commitment to getting three huge things done no matter what. Stop sweating the small stuff.

The collective impact of the thrice-weekly commitment, each week for a year, is phenomenal. That’s one hundred and fifty game changing actions, all contributing to your business’s bottom line. And the impact you make. And your sanity.

Laziness will destroy the world if we don’t do something about it

I believe that entrepreneurs want to be motivated. Most people wish they could get a whole lot more done. Most desperately want to commit to taking action. They want to see their ambitions realized.

I also believe entrepreneurs are (and are going to be) responsible for the big changes we need in this world. And procrastination is the biggest obstacle holding entrepreneurs back.

That’s why I’m declaring war on procrastination. 

We need to pull the trigger. We need to bury procrastination for good.

I’ve been working for the last six months to develop a program for entrepreneurs that hacks the mind – that transforms the most paralyzed business owner into a to-do list smashing machine.

I’m announcing that program today. It’s called “Commit Action”.

Commit Action leverages social dynamics and measures your commitment to the productivity benchmark… before it even gets out of bed in the morning.

Beyond that, it’s a powerful tool to connect entrepreneurs with strategy and insight into their own businesses that’ll accelerate their success. Like a rocket.

There is literally nothing else like it in the world. Commit Action blends the cutting edge of entrepreneurial psychology with tried and true accountability practices to ensure you ruthlessly slay your tasks and crush the habit of procrastination.

This is my soft launch for the service. We’ve been testing Commit Action for some time now and a select few have even gotten access.

Today, we’re opening up twenty places in Commit Action. It’s a totally human powered service, not some infinitely downloadable ebook, so there is a real limit to the number of people we can bring in at one time.

And at the ridiculously low price we have this at (for now), those spots will vanish fast. You’ll see what I mean.

Want to hack your motivation and squash your to do list for good?

Get Commit Action immediately (click here) – don’t procrastinate!


+ Add Comment
  1. Getting things done isn’t really my problem. I do tons, every day!

    But I don’t always do the important work – it’s the BIG stuff (in my mind). The stuff I have to grit my teeth to start doing. The stuff that sometimes scares me. For that, Commit Action has been fantastic.


    Because I commit to my coach Alex and say, “Put this task on the list this week.” And he asks, “Are you SURE? Can you actually achieve this?” That’s where I mentally freak out a touch, which tells me I SHOULD do this.

    So I answer: “Yeah. Yeah, I can do this.” And I do (because I’d feel terrible telling him I didn’t the week after!).


  2. I second what James said. Succeeding with what I commit to is only part of what’s important about Commit Action. It is always tougher to succeed than I thought it would be, because I’m committing to real core things…one is something I am happy doing, two is something I really need to do and just don’t but it turns into an albatross , and three is something that makes ALL the difference in my business. The fact that I don’t always succeed hones for me how important these things actually are to me, and I can’t get away with just wishing myself into an imaginary future where I will just “do better” without real sweat equity…when I don’t succeed I have to REALLY look at why… cuz it’s only 3 freakin’ things I’m committing to, after all…should be a piece of cake, right?

    So long an short, I’m exercising consistently , lost some weight, finally have a grasp on the neck of my paperwork albatross, and know now for an embarrassing fact that if I don’t write for my business it ISN’T because I didn’t “have time”….grrrrr.

    And I can’t believe how annoyingly liberating it is to know all that about myself! 😛

  3. The reality of good. At the end of one’s life,
    is not measured by how much money you made, but
    by how much you have made the world a better place.
    Successful entrepreneurs often the real impact of the
    non-profit and social enterprise switch.You know very
    well about social entrepreneurship,
    Who reads your website well.

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