Motivation Hack: Lock Screen Reminders

One of the classic motivational techniques for achieving a goal is to keep that goal in front of you all the time.

The traditional suggestion is to put post-it notes all over your desk or monitor or whatever. This way, when you space out at your desk, you look at one of these and it reminds you that, oh, hey, you wanted to write a book, get that promotion, etc.

But post-its are a little old-fashioned, aren’t they?

Here’s what I’ve started doing instead:

Pick up your phone. You always have that with you, right? You probably check it a hundred times a day. And every single time you do, for a split second, you stare at that little screen you have to slide to unlock.

Take a picture of your goal, and put it on that screen.

Last week I had a lot to do, so I wrote it down, took a picture of it, and set that as my lock screen. For several days, many, many times per day, I would see that list, realize I have a bunch of stuff to do, put my phone down, and get back to work. Often without even unlocking it.

I’m training for a race (the kind you run with your feet). Right now my lock screen has a picture of my awesome running shoes, so that a few dozen times a day I’m reminded that running is awesome because I have awesome shoes. Guess how much trouble I’ve had motivating myself to train this week?

You can put all kinds of crazy stuff there. Anything that visually reminds you of your goal is fair game:

Want to write a book? Jot down an outline and use that.

Want to spend more time with your family? Use a picture of the wife and kids.

Want to start updating your blog regularly again? Try a screenshot of your traffic stats from the month you stopped.

Constant reminders are a tried and tested technique for boosting motivation. You’ve got a little portable reminder-machine that you carry with you all the time and are constantly looking at.

It only takes a few seconds to change the image on your lock screen. Why not do that right now?

Oh, and let me know what you set it to, because I bet I can learn from your creativity, too.

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