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Credit for this game goes to @Aerisand who started this PVP.

Disclaimer: A large part of this is @Briniel's star introduction to Monkey Taming, digivolved for efficiency.

TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post.

 

This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com  

 

A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.)

 

So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!!

 

Monkey Tamers United

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Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay

Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident.

Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary.

The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way.

 

Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks

Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you.

 

These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. 

 

Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points

When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down.

 

 

CONCEPTS

The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: 

 

Productive Brick

For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point.

It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you).

 

Halfassed Brick

If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer.

 

Monkey Poop

If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead.

Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground (procrastination anyone?). Be honest with yourself.

 

If you didn't finish your bricks for the day, any bricks not laid become monkey poop... 

Of course, if you manage to procrastinate for longer than you were supposed to have time for, feel free to add more poop, lol.

Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild!

 

About taking breaks

You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that ;)

 

 

EXPERIMENTAL: Alternative way to track Productive Bricks

For rewarding task completion instead of time a.k.a. "I always forget to track time".

  Reveal hidden contents

 

  • Estimate the amount of bricks needed for each task you need to get done (blocks of 30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey).
  • After completing a task, you may enter the estimated amount of bricks instead of counting the actual time it took to finish it.
  • Remember to still count halfassed bricks and monkey poop.
  • If you notice a task took a lot more Productive Bricks than you estimated, add more bricks to your total.

    If you notice a task took a lot less Productive Bricks than you estimated, use the middle point between the actual amount and estimate. (Why: daunting tasks probably weigh more)

DIFFICULTY MODES

Choose your own mode.

 

Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop   = The original system

Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop   = Against halfassing!

Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop    = Like a boss

 

 

JOIN US

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If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress!

 

In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: 

  • Write your name and difficulty mode.
  • Enter the planned amount of bricks - for each day.  
    • You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to enter the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. 
  • Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop)

 

 

*For those coming back, what's different:

  • We've added a spot for Week 0. It won't count towards points but it may help in getting started, testing things, or just doing something so you won't lose momentum.
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My bricks are:

1. Exercising 5 times a week for 30 minutes each time.

2. Completing my daily housework list (depending on what it is; I procrastinate to the extreme) (times will vary).

3. Writing/working on blog post ideas. Or general studies.

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Thanks for setting this up, @fitnessgurl. I have to admit I was too lazy to do it.

 

I will practise trumpet for 30 min a day.

I will review my flashcards for Spanish and French and create new flashcards. Let's say 2,5 hours per day.

Swedish, Japanese and English each half an hour for reviewing and creating flashcards.

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Yesterday, I cleaned the kitchen, the bath and the living room (only to find the kitchen floor sullied again today). And laundry... my baby boy produces a lot of dirty clothes. 

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Yesterday I did 1,5 hours French. In the afternoon I practised Christmas songs on the clarinet and the trumpet. In the evening, I was in the music school and practised together with a few people for an upcoming concert. I skipped Spanish completely. Today I had some other stuff to do. I had to visit a Puplic authority, puplic body... How to I say this? I don't know a translation for the German Behörde. I was home at 3 and after a coffee and lunch I went to bed together with my baby. I definitely want to do some Spanish today. My little one refuses to sleep right now. 

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2 hours ago, Akari said:

Yesterday I did 1,5 hours French. In the afternoon I practised Christmas songs on the clarinet and the trumpet. In the evening, I was in the music school and practised together with a few people for an upcoming concert. I skipped Spanish completely. Today I had some other stuff to do. I had to visit a Puplic authority, puplic body... How to I say this? I don't know a translation for the German Behörde. I was home at 3 and after a coffee and lunch I went to bed together with my baby. I definitely want to do some Spanish today. My little one refuses to sleep right now. 

Behörde = authority, so public authority is correct.

 

Sounds like you had a couple of busy days. :)

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17 hours ago, Akari said:

Herbology? Are you a student or do you study this for fun? 

I'm a student. I just finished an herbal medicine-making class & need to save money for the Advanced Herbology class. Even though I have finished the class; I still need to stay current, hence the continued study while I save for the next class.

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Updated the sheet. On weekend I found a source for  swedish vocabulary and most important example sentences. I was more busy copying and setting things up for anki than actually learning. Now I will each day review a few cards and replace the English translation with one or more pictures.

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