Forcing Functions

Design Personal Growth Startups & Tech

When you’re facing a particularly challenging task, it can be helpful to incorporate a forcing function into your routine.

A forcing function is any task, activity or event that forces you to take action and produce a result.

Need to stay productive at a meeting? Make everybody stand. Want to cut online time wasting? Leave your charger at home. Having trouble writing enough? The Most Dangerous Writing App forces you to keep typing until the timer ends, or you lose all your work.

When designing the most important steps of your app—or your life—think about ways  to incorporate behavior-shaping constraints.