How do I buy self-discipline?
November 23, 2018 8:21 PM   Subscribe

I want start my days right even if I have to pay someone to do it for me.

I was diagnosed with ADD when I was a kid, and i still have the symptons as an adult. More and more I am scheduling my own days as a professional, often working from home. And I am finding that I can spend an entire day doing absolutely nothing.

1) how do I search for a professional who can counsel and coach my behavior, alongside being open to recommending medication (even if just to kickstart the discipline).

I'm finding that if I can start the first hour of my day by getting out of bed, away from my phone and into a workout (or shower) I can get into work.

2) how might I pay someone to make sure my mornings start right, or generally make sure that I'm being disciplined?
posted by jander03 to Work & Money (12 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I see this as a job on Craigslist occasionally. It's typically 2-4 hours in the mornings.
posted by aniola at 8:51 PM on November 23, 2018

I used to have a personal trainer and I would schedule to meet him at 7am at the gym 3 days a week? I knew I would feel so shitty if I ever flaked out and I had made another human being to get up and get ready and prepare a workout for me to just no show.
posted by spec80 at 8:51 PM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding AM trainer, with a slight twist. For even more structure, an at-home trainer is amazing if you can swing the cost. Someone comes to your home, and coaches you through waking up and getting active. You can always explain that you need X minutes at the end of every session to accomplish Y and Z, and would want your trainer to help ensure that you are set up to do so before they leave. Lastly, can provide you motivation to pick up after yourself the night before in the space that your trainer will visit.
posted by vacuumsealed at 9:02 PM on November 23, 2018

You might find this recent thread on Hacker News (in response to a "Boss as a Service" company post... I know...) helpful in understanding some of the different sorts of people you can hire to help with this and approaches that have worked for people.
posted by asphericalcow at 9:32 PM on November 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

There was an app called Wakie (it's morphed into something different) a few years ago which was like an alarm clock where you scheduled someone from around the world to call you. Whenever you felt like entertaining yourself later in the day, you could go on the app and call a random who wanted to be woken. A bunch of my friends got into it and the calls were sometimes hilarious, as someone in South Africa or the UK tried to parse our American accents first thing in the morning.
posted by twoplussix at 10:38 PM on November 23, 2018 [12 favorites]

Anyway- this seems like a pact one could make with other sleepy (close) friends.
posted by twoplussix at 10:39 PM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

The other piece of your question that sticks out is of course the one about staying off your phone for the first hour. This is of course frequently given advice about productivity, waking up, etc.
I'm trying a non-phone alarm clock for this purpose- so as to avoid having the thing in my hand first thing. For me, just leaving the phone in another room can delay the morning phone-hole enough to get me off on the right foot.
posted by twoplussix at 10:41 PM on November 23, 2018

One solution for the getting out of bed problem (especially combined with the phone charging in the other room while you sleep) is "Clocky", the rolling alarm clock.
posted by metahawk at 11:52 PM on November 23, 2018

Watching this thread with interest.

ADD Coaches are a thing. Can't hurt to talk to a few and get an idea of how they each work with clients.

The body double is a useful concept for people with ADD. I've used personal trainers more for the double double effect than for actual training.

A friend and I started a practice of emailing each other in the morning with our goals for the day - this helps me. There's no judgment or scolding between us but if I made a commitment to finish X task it gives me a little push - so I don't have to write back and say I didn't get it done. In the past I've used small facebook groups in the same way.

Caveat: I've put a ton of effort into figuring out how to make myself work better but I'm still in pajamas ignoring the laundry so.....
posted by bunderful at 6:56 AM on November 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

I have a set of calisthenics I do in the morning. If I think I might try to get out of them, I do them in bed. Yes, I do. The other thing is positive self talk about the effect of those. I get up and go to the bathroom very early, then back in bed. Then I can wake up and exercise, and the positive talk is I feel so good, and ready to start my day, after this. This is absolutely true, it is a gift to myself. If you can bridge the gap between the idea and doing, I have to be sneaky with myself, if I start thinking, then I don't do. So, I just to those exercises in the morning.

I never take my phone in my room. Nope. My phone stays covered on my work table, until after I have taken exercise, and have made some tea. Then I read papers, or whatever my morning routine is. The thing to remember, messing with your phone in the morning, is nothing. Getting some exercise is something, and it is a great relationship with self.

Carlos Castenada though totally debunked, or not, had this great set of rules for stalking. Now I view these as rules for negotiating with one's self. Here they are, you have to do this with Ruthlessness, Patience, Sweetness, and Cunning. If you can attach exercise to joy, and a highly positive state of mind, that is the Sweetness, and Cunning, it takes the Ruthlessness and Patience, to end around whatever distraction your collective throws up. Exercise is a highly superior stimulant to the telephone, as far as overall health goes.
posted by Oyéah at 12:13 PM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

2) "personal accountability coach" is what you're looking for. Available on Fiverr, Craigslist and elsewhere.
posted by gakiko at 12:16 PM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks so much everyone for these answers!

I think I'm going to take these actions:
  • Begin conversations with a neurologist or psychiatrist to see if I will be officially diagnosed with ADD and if medication is a good option for me. (This from browsing from a link above)
  • Regardless of diagnosis, find an ADD coach to consult with ($60-150/hour!) on what a more cost-effective personal accountabiliy assistant might do for me.
  • Use that information to interview and hire a personal accountability coach (possibly in the form of an accomodating a personal trainer)-- preferably one who visits me in person a few times a week. I'm finding that this kind of help is $20-30 an hour in the Bay Area, which could easily transform into $100/week.

    I expect to have this all in the bag by January. (This will be my fun procrastination project).

    In the meantime, I will continue to keep my phone out of the bedroom and begin to try positive self talk.

  • posted by jander03 at 6:14 AM on November 26, 2018

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