What I Was Hoping To Learn
- How to be an accountability partner on those annoying life admin tasks that we don't want to do (e.g. renew passport, fill out 401k rollover form, etc)
- How to help people be more productive in a positive way
- What kinds of different issues/problems do people have with their life admin tasks (e.g. anxious, procrastination, bored, etc)
- What small things can humans/software do to provide motivation
- How deadlines factor into productivity
- I made a Tally form asking users to choose one life admin task that is stressing you out or that you've been putting off for a while and think about how good you will feel after it's done (and assign it a number from 1-5 stars)
- Click "I commit"
- I told them I would send them a gold star and cute animal as a "prize" when they confirmed they were done. I also told them that this project was meant to help them and not stress them out and to reach out at any time for emotional support/hype goblin vibes.
- I sent an email midweek asking how their task was going and providing some ideas on how to get started if they were having trouble (full email here).
- On Saturday, I reached out to see who was done and who needed to change their task, extend their deadline, etc.
- When people confirmed they completed their task, I sent them a feedback form and their prize.
16 out of 32 (50%) of participants completed their tasks
- "Ooof. Clicking that "I commit" button was tough. Made me second guess whether I was really going to get this done or not!"
- "I think the key these types of task (and it's so easy to forget) is that starting/the first 25% is typically proportionately a lot harder than each subsequent 25%. It's the inertia at the beginning that hurts you."
- "It's going good feels excellent to work towards something."
- "resources are actually super helpful! My task hasn't been completed yet, but I scheduled time to do it tomorrow & a facemask after it."
After the fact feels
"I genuinely would not have chosen to get proper sleep if I hadn’t enrolled...a miracle"
- "I liked that it was just one task we wanted to complete and it could be very small. I always feel behind on things I need to do, and this would help me get things done, one task at a time. I need some accountability on my to-do list and Molly is the sweetest accountability cheerleader. Her emails are whimsical, caring, and helpful."
- "I feel like I might ignore this if I got super busy but also goblins are cool."
- "No more stress- it’s done."
- "Good. Also I like goblins."
- "I felt a bit bad about myself because I was still procrastinating, but completing the task made me happier like a small weight was lifted."
- "a little apprehensive in the beginning bc I didn't quite know what to expect, but in the end, I enjoyed the cuteness. It also made me commit (internally) to getting it done when I typed it out and hit that submit button."
- "extra sense of satisfaction for completing it knowing I'd said it "out loud" to someone else :)"
- "It was a lot easier than I thought."
- "Sooo I somewhat finished my task! And it was simpler than I thought."
- "Pretty good. I had to wait on a few people to respond which feels a bit out of my control but generally good."
- "This was a task I was going to complete. It was something that I needed to do. However, when I have other tasks, I procrastinate and I work on other projects. This site helped me keep on task. Thanks!"
What I learned
- Customization is important. People have their own personal issues with productivity and it's different for everyone.
- Emailing people can get annoying and stress them out. Texting people, sending push notifications, and making the app extremely sticky will be important for keeping users and making sure the app is actually helping them improve their lives and spark joy.
- Accountability can sometimes make people anxious and stress them out. I am going to make sure that in-app there's less pressure and more focus on how completing the task will make them feel and cultivating motivation (as opposed to guilt or anxiety driving them).
- Small things like clicking "I commit" on a form, knowing that I would be following up with them, and getting a check in email with resources can help people make progress on tasks.
- Being whimsical & fun can help make an app more sticky and increase productivity.
- It felt really good to encourage people to work on their tasks and hear about the progress they made. I love helping and supporting people.
- I hate fake deadlines but I know sometimes the sense of urgency is needed. I'm not sure deadlines will factor into the MVP.
The Goblin MVP is coming out in August 2022 to the Founding Goblins that signed up (there's still time to sign up--it's $5 and you'll receive stickers, doodles, a haiku, 2 months free, and 50% off for 2 years).
Thanks for reading!
Haiku: Task I don't wanna do | My brain is cluttered right now | If not now then when