Vladimir_Golovin

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Cargo Cult, Self-Improvement, and What to Do

The link to Budge Burgess story is broken -- please fix.

Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017

Running the names through native speakers definitely was a good idea :D

Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017

Thomas, thank you for setting up the poll! Somehow this didn't occur to me.

Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017

There's no chance that I will be able to secure xlist.com or anything similar for a reasonable sum of money (i.e. under $3000 or so).

Edit: oh, sorry, I completely misread you (was in a hurry). I did a search on http://www.naminum.com/prepend?q=list, and there were one-syllable words among the results, but none of them jumped at me as a good name (in addition to the vast majority of them being already taken).

Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017

I’d like to ask LW for feedback on names for my upcoming todo list app.

In summary, I spent the last 2 years developing a todo app to replace Wunderlist because I’ve always been unsatisfied with it. I mentioned the app on LW earlier. Microsoft recently announced that they plan to shut down Wunderlist, which is a one-in-a-lifetime marketing opportunity, so I’m currently in scramble mode preparing everything (site, app, company) for the closure event.

The central idea of the app is that it helps you keep your todo list focused on what you can do right now, at this very moment (the approach is similar to Mark Forster’s Autofocus system and is heavily based on the concept of mental ‘ripeness’ of the task to be done).

So here’s my shortlist of names (all with .com domains I already own):

  • Matterlist
  • LumenList
  • PragmaPad
  • PragmaPlanner
  • Persisto

Which name do you like the most? Which ones sound bad to you?

When giving feedback, consider Paul Graham’s advice on naming: “It turns out almost any word or word pair that is not an obviously bad name is a sufficiently good one.” So if any of the names jumps at you as ‘obviously bad’, please let me know.

Making intentions concrete - Trigger-Action Planning

Yes, I meant a low-functioning state. My current todo app lacks tools for assigning contexts to tasks. When I switch to my own app (currently in development), I'll make a dedicated context for this type of tasks, e.g. @zombie - and will try to adopt the following TAP:

  • When in zombie mode, Open the todo app, turn on the @zombie context, and look at the list.
Making intentions concrete - Trigger-Action Planning

I do have this one, but the trigger doesn't fire reliably. Sometimes I go to bed, sometimes I don't.

Making intentions concrete - Trigger-Action Planning

Just tried to list my fully-adopted TAPs and found that they are all linked to my use of a smartphone todo app:

  • When I think of something that needs to be done at some point, Open the todo app and write it down.
  • When the thinking part of the morning is finished, Open the todo app.
  • When I'm idle, Open the todo app.
  • When leaving home or work, Open the todo app (maybe I forgot something I need to do while I'm here).
  • When I'm in the todo app looking at my current tasks, Snooze or hide any tasks that I can't do right now.

There's a TAP I'd like to adopt, but I can't report any success so far:

  • When I'm tired / in zombie mode, Open the todo app (and do some tasks tagged as @zombie).
What do you actually do to replenish your willpower?

For me, the best way to replenish willpower is a long solitary walk. 2 hours, 5 kilometers or longer, preferably in nature or a non-crowded park, with minimized exposure to cars, dogs, people, speech, loud sounds, and any other attention-taxing things. I've been going on these walks for over 20 years, so the technique is time-tested.

Also: mini-vacations. Basically the same as above, but they should provide at least a week-long period of uninterruptible time ahead. This works wonders for me.

I've read (I can't remember where) that completing difficult tasks gives a boost to willpower, but then how do you convince yourself to start that difficult task? And what difficult task do you use?

In my case, the concepts of Trivial Inconvenience and Trivial Impetus were very helpful. I soften difficult tasks up by removing trivial inconveniences standing between me and the task, and facilitate my future work on them by creating trivial impetuses. Breaking a big monolithic task into smaller chunks also works well.

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