A Better Launcher For A Better You


I have been thinking about a special launcher. It is something I very much want to exist, and ideally it would be baked into the core platforms, but I wonder if I am strange for wanting it.

I am on a constant quest to be more productive and use my time wisely. This manifests with processes and tools to help implement them. I build habits with checklists to follow through and track items I want to make progress on with the calendar to tie it to my day.

There is a lot of friction with the myriad of tools (e.g. Asana, Coach.me, Inbox, Calendar, Anki, Pocket) and it is easy to fall out of the process. This is where the Better Launcher comes in.

I want to setup rules for my time:

  • I can’t do X until I do Y
  • Every hour take ten minutes to knock something off of the check list (this can be Spanish, spaced repetition, push ups, hunting vs. reading of info, etc)
  • I can do X for Y minutes per day / week.

I want pressure to stay on course, so these rules need to show up throughout the system. For example, if I launch Facebook and the critical items for the day aren’t complete yet, put that right in my face. Tell me how long I have spent and live with the caps. It is OK to have that square of dark chocolate as a reward for a good eating day, but don’t scoff the whole bar. This is the same for the digital areas of life. Enjoy one game of VainGlory with your friends, just don’t make it 5! 🙂

I think that this friction and virtual guide would help me. It would surface what I am trying to do without having to remember to keep going into my daily checklist.

Modern Family

I have harped on about the need for platforms to consider family contexts. Imagine a parent being able to setup these rules for their children! By setting up the rules, the kids are still empowered to make their choices on the when and how, which helps teach them vital organizational skills that they will need in life.

Humans love control and knowing their constraints. As a parent I see a huge difference when I can frame a conversation as “Ok, the 10 minute alarm went off so I guess it’s time to move on to the next thing” vs. “I am the boss of you. You will now stop doing what you are doing because I saw so”.

Having the system be able to track progress and time, and be able to redirect you:

“You said you wanted to do Facebook but how about we direct your attention to something more productive. There will be time for Facebook later though…. just not right now.”

Yup, I would love Peter the Productivity Guide. I think it could turn the tables on the prison that is the distraction in your pocket, but since it is a little like helping you take your vitamins, would you appreciate it? If you think you would appreciate it, would you actually use it? Or would you turn it off after a week?

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