It’s 3:15 pm and I have done nothing productive today.

I could do this forever. At least for a year.

There is enough content to consume.

However, only when you’re focused towards interacting with specific content long enough, you can get somewhere most people don’t get, and that’s when you get something unique. Something that nobody else has and that may have value.

I’m going to save the world, but what’s in it for me?

  • I will have a legacy, which is awesome
  • I will have opportunity to have many kids later in life, which is more legacy
  • I will have the freedom to do what I find most meaningful for the rest of my life
  • I can buy (or rent) a big house, go to great parties, and enjoy my surroundings

In short

  • Legacy
  • Kids
  • Freedom
  • Awesomeness

I am working on saving the world, and all these cool things will take forever to achieve. What’s in it for me in the short term? What do I get when I achieve my daily goals what I don’t get when I don’t?

Right now? Nothing. In fact, if I don’t do my work, I have more time to spend on the things that give me short-term pleasure.

So how can I change that? What gives me short-term pleasure?

  • YouTube, Movies, Series, Porn, Mindlessly scrolling timelines, Browsing the interwebs.
  • Chips, Cola, Burgers
  • Coffee
  • Drugs
  • Social Approval
  • Sleep
  • Music
  • Solving hard problems

Right now, I think only the last one is attainable by programming. It is just a small part of all the dopamine hits that are available.

I have to find a way to align dopamine regulation with long-term goals so I can actually be productive automatically - without thinking about it and having to force myself.

Let’s delve in a little deeper. I’m also steered by fear and pain. I avoid fear naturally, that is.

  • I avoid getting stuck in hard problems
  • I avoid awkward social situations
  • I avoid being fired or getting a worse opinion from my boss (not applicable anymore)
  • I avoid cold
  • I avoid hunger

I think the best question to ask is the following: How can I reward myself in the short-term for the process of trying to solve meaningful long-term problems?

I came up with these possibilities, and am planning to implement (some of) them a.s.a.p.

  • Automatic API that links hours worked today (WakaTime) to amount of coffee you can dispense from your coffee machine
  • Freedom.to API connected to WakaTime that allows for small breaks and complete freedom after the goal has been reached
  • The amount of fastfood available (chips, cola) is linear to the amount of days the goal has been reached last week. This can be done by automatically delivering specific groceries every week tied to the WakaTime API.
  • Automatically ordering food using an API after the goal has been reached (otherwise, eat nuts).
  • Program in Public - Either use twitch or something like WIP chat to get external feedback (hopefully positive)
  • Sync Sonos API to WakaTime. Only allow playing music when programming (Automatically turn it off when not programming).
  • Fuck with my sleep the night after I didn’t reach my goal by waking me up automatically using an alarm API coupled to WakaTime. The alarm could go off 1AM, 3AM, 5AM, 7AM if I didn’t make the goal
  • The thermostat should go on to 20 degrees whenever I’m coding or I made my goal. Use an API for that too. If I don’t code or didn’t make the goal, I get cold.
  • An extreme option: Get one or more food dispenser(s) that are controlled by an api that is linearly coupled with WakaTime. It could dispense peanuts, cocaine (CodeCaine haha), or snacks.
  • Another extreme option: Use that shock bracelet Pavlok to automatically shock throughout the day/night if I didn’t make my WakaTime goal.

I think that any subset of the above would make it easier to achieve my long-term goals. I hope you learned something and maybe you can use some of the above for yourself too. Let me know how it goes!