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Motivation

Run this each day for 30 days for motivation to finish your projects.

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Looking for beta testers. IM me on Hackaday.io if interested.

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This program uses psychological methods to increase your motivation for completing projects. Run it once a day for 30 days, and you should see an improvement in project motivation.

Each run consists of a one-minute slideshow of words and images that bring your project to mind, plus a short lesson on some psychological aspect of motivation.

The slideshow gets your mind thinking about the project, and the explanations help you make small changes to your behavior and attitude that should boost your project motivations.

The techniques are well documented and backed by scientific studies, no tricks or subliminal messaging is involved.

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Under construction

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The github account for this project is set to"private" until the project is in a better state for release, probably end of July.


MOTIVATION

The project consists of a web page with some embedded javascript to manage the presentation. Everything happens in the browser, no compile or install is needed. Just clone the project and go.

On first run, you will be asked to choose a project category for the project you want to finish: the system will use words and images from this category for the slide show.

Then, once a day for 30 days, run the web page in your browser as soon as possible after waking.

A daily run consists of a slide show of words and images from your project category, to highlight those ideas in your mind. The slide show takes about a minute.

While you watch the slideshow, look for a specially displayed word: a different color, a different placement, bigger, smaller, crooked, or whatever. The method changes with each run, but it will be obvious when you see it. After the slide show, you will be asked to identify the special word.

After the slideshow you might be given some lesson text to read.

The lessons describe psychological aspects of motivation, and give suggestions for how these might be improved. Knowing how motivation works will help you make changes that will increase your own motivations.

Sometimes the program will ask you to do a small task such as thinking about an issue or writing a todo list. The tasks work with the lessons to implement the psychological techniques, and help you gain motivation.

After 30 days you should see an increased motivation for finishing your projects.

Good luck with your projects!

  • Lesson Arc 1 almost complete

    Peter Walsh13 hours ago 0 comments

    Lesson arc 1 (across 6 days) is almost complete, only need to add one more day of lesson text. Six days is a little long, I'm going to see if I can tuck two of the days together to shorten it a bit. I want to keep the really short, but now they're turning out a bit *too* short. Aesthetics in general can wait, but there's no reason not to be thinking about it.

    Much of today was image editing, which I am painfully inept at, but the images came out OK if a little stuffy.

    This first lesson arc is a more complex than the others, because it has to teach the basics of all the other arcs as well as implement one of the techniques.

    This particular technique is "concordant self-image", which is to say that if you get a person to act in a way different from his beliefs, his beliefs will change to bring his image into concordance with his actions.

    If you have substituted external motivations for internal ones (the overjustification effect), this exercise should be able to reverse that. I'll add some mantra conditioning as well (last page, not yet complete), and together the two should (I expect) be powerful enough to put the intrinsic motives back in place.

    One or two of the other lessons should add a little amplification to the effect. Hopefully it will be enough to turn people around on their wayward projects.

  • Flashing style doesn't work

    Peter Walsh2 days ago 0 comments

    As part of the project I'm flashing words (and images) at people.

    To be certain they're focused on the slideshow, I'm "highlighting" one or more words during the slideshow.

    At the end of the slideshow they're asked to identify the highlighted word. Nothing fancy, just a 4-point multiple choice, one of which is the highlighted word. No significance to this at all, except to keep the user focused on the slideshow as it happens.

    Highlighting can be anything, like showing the word in a different color, rotating it, outlining it, and so on. Something to make the word "notable" and stand out, so the user notices it.

    So now... what types of highlighting can I use?

    I originally thought that "flashing" a different style at the user would be an acceptable method of highlighting. Having a word flash briefly red, for example. Or flashing briefly into uppercase. Or briefly rotated.

    These look awful, so I've decided to drop the concept. I'd like to have a bunch more highlighting options, because I think it's important for the user *not* to be familiar with the methods used. The highlight should surprise the user, to get him to think about the word. That should highlight the concepts more strongly, and create a better priming.

    I figure 2 days of coding will complete the coding (one for configuration, one for lesson management). Lesson management is mostly done, and configuration is mostly simple, so these might get done in a single day. Possibly tonight...

    Also: Storing local data for a file:/// web page STILL doesn't work in Firefox, and I think it's an actual bug in Firefox.

    I think I'll ignore this. It works in default Chromium, and Firefox only holds, like, 3% of the browser share anyway. (I *hate* that I have to say this, but I'm just about ready to ditch Firefox entirely for a new browser anyway. Those people simply don't understand what made their product great, and keep making changes no one wants..)

  • Slideshow is done

    Peter Walsh5 days ago 0 comments

    Slideshow is done, and I'm really tired.

    Somehow I got into zombie mode and my mind felt like it was walking through mud.

    Still, the slideshow code is complete. There's 1 defect in the presentation css that can wait until tomorrow.

    I expect to complete the lesson logic and config logic in the next day, and then the only thing that should remain is the creative writing.

  • Cookie monster

    Peter Walsh7 days ago 0 comments

    Just spent all day sorting out cookies and local storage.

    You would *think* that if I have a local html file, the browser would let me store a local cookie.

    Nope. Cookies only work for remote files. Feature was removed from Chrome, and Firefox will only allow it for the current invocation; meaning, even if you allow local files to set cookies, restarting firefox will cause it to ignore that setting. Even though the setting appears in the exceptions list. WTF?

    Fortunately there's an alternative called "web storage" that mostly works in all browsers, although the default behaviour is different for different browsers, but Firefox seems to like the exception across restarts so it's a manageable problem.

    But... yuck. Four hours wasted figuring out ridiculous browser differences. One of which is almost certainly a bug in Firefox.

    I have no idea how IE will handle this. Hope it works.

  • Progress report 2

    Peter Walsh07/18/2021 at 23:23 0 comments

    Another git push and files are backed up.

    The system is set up as a course that runs for 30 days. Most of the days have no lessons, but I've got about a half dozen topics of interest that people can use to increase their motivation. The lessons are comprised of "arcs" that might happen over several days, and "pages" that comprise a single day's lesson.

    Ok, an example.
    I've just today completed the Intrinsic/Extrinsic motivation arc, of two days.

    The first day consists of 3 pages (really short pages - 2 minute read each) that describe the two types of motivation. For homework, the user is asked to decide which of the 4 extrinsic motivation types their project is weakest on.

    For extra credit, the user is asked if there's a simple way to strengthen their weakest motivation type.

    The next day asks for their answers, across 2 pages.

    Thus, the Intrinsic/Extrinsic arc is 2 days of 5 pages total.

    I've got 5 or 6 really good arcs for the course, and I think I can get it up to 10. With 10 ways to increase motivation, the project should be effective for most people.

    Here's hoping...

  • Progress report 1

    Peter Walsh07/17/2021 at 14:41 0 comments

    Just did a github push, things are going well. Most of the functionality (ie - code) is complete, I have notes on how to complete the rest (of the code), and several pages of writing.

    In order to make the project as accessible as possible, I'm releasing it as an HTML file with some embedded javascript. Installation should then be as simple as "git clone", no other commands necessary.

    The project breaks down to two parts: coding the presentation system, and writing the lesson syllabus.

    Coding is simple enough, but I find writing difficult. Sitting down at a terminal and writing a coherent thought process is hard to do, but as it happens there are psychological techniques for this as well - those techniques address "creativity", which is not the same as "motivation", so I won't go into those techniques for this project.

    Still, I have some half dozen good syllabus arcs touching on several psychological effects that people can use to enhance their motivation.

    As an example: the "concordant self-image" research suggests that if you change your physical behaviour your mind will adapt to bring your self-image into concordance with what you've actually done. If you can get people to say they like something (even if they don't), their mind will adapt to this and assume that they really did like it. Ask people later and they will report that they actually *did* like it.

    Advertizers use this to influence people with catchy tunes and jingles that get people to repeat things without thinking about them (viz: the Oscar Meyer Weiner song).

    So one technique for better motivation is simply to say that you have the motivation. It doesn't seem like this should work, but research suggests that it does.

    Psychology is weird.

  • A great idea begins...

    Peter Walsh07/11/2021 at 03:32 0 comments

    I'm studying psychology as background for an unrelated project.

    Whenever you study something, it's always a good idea to have some reason that you want the information for - a project, or end goal, or something. That way, the information will seem meaningful and valuable to your mind. Also, as you encounter individual bits of information that could contribute to the end goal, these bits will be easier to remember.

    So as an end goal for my studies, I considered answer the question: "What motivates creativity?"

    Throughout the classes, any time creativity or motivation came up the topic was highlighted in my mind and I could file it away for future consideration. I've done this now for several college-level courses and a handful of books. Most of psychology is about motivation, so this one question managed to cover much of the material.

    Then I noticed that people complain that they never finish their projects. They start a project, lose interest, put it on a shelf, and it collects dust. Some people have collected dozens of half-finished projects.

    I have dozens of these as well.

    So it occurred to me: with an understanding of motivation, is it possible to *change* your mind to get better motivated? There are techniques all over the literature that describe ways to influence people. Can these techniques be integrated into a system that can be used for personal development?

    Hence this program.

    I'll describe the individual techniques in a later log. Right now I've got much of the program running (the slideshow works and all the support programs are done), the project categories have images and words (but these need to be culled and polished), and I've got about half a dozen articles and techniques written long-hand ready to be coded.

View all 7 project logs

  • 1
    Installation is as easy as "git clone"...

    Installation

    Get the project from git, in the normal manner:

    > git clone git@github.com:ToolChainGang/Motivation.git

    That's it! No other installation steps are needed.

    Running

    To run the project, double-click on "public_html/index.html" in the project directory
    to start the program in your default browser.

    Running at first boot

    The project should be run once a day for 30 days, as early as possible after waking.

    If you always open a browser as part of your daily routine, you can open the web page in a tab and set the browser to restore tabs on restart. Each time you open the browser, the program will be available, and you can view it once each day.

    You can also set the system to open the web page in the default broswer when you first log on, using the "xdg-open" command (linux) or "start" command (windows). Cut/Paste the following into your system "startup applications":

    # Linux
    > xdg-open $HOME/Motivation/public_html/index.html
    
    # Windows
    > start %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%/Motivation/public_html/index.html
    
    

    (If you cloned to a different directory, make the necessary changes to the command lines.)

    Alternately for Linux systems, run the following command from the project directory to run the project at first login:

    > echo "xdg-open $PWD/public_html/index.html" >>~/.profile
    

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