Hack The System Blogger Maneesh Sethi frequently partakes in unconventional techniques to help increase his productivity and then records the findings of these experiments in his blog or newsletter.
His latest experiment saw him hire a slapper from Craigslist – for our UK readers who know a slapper to be a woman with loose morals/underwear, that’s really not what’s going on here… Sethi wanted someone to sit next to him while he worked and give him a slap every time he strayed from the task in hand by going on Facebook or trawling YouTube for funny videos.
Being in San Francisco, he advertised the position on Craigslist, offering to pay this person $8 an hour to sit next to him and observe his screen. The person who was given the job would have to monitor what he was doing and yell or slap him if they noticed him wasting time.
Within an hour of posting the advert he had 20 applicants, one stood out and he met and interviewed her the next day. That is how Kara came to be Sethi’s slapper.
Sethi believes that because people are social animals, working alone in front of a computer desk does not suite our nature. Using an app called RescueTime which monitors how much time is spent on each website Sethi realized that he was productive on average just 38% of the time.
This statistic mortified him and realizing that he worked much harder when a boss or authority figure was looming over him, he decided to conduct the slap experiment!
Sethi said that Kara definitely had to slap him a couple of times to keep him working, but the results were astonishing. On the days where she was there to administer those well-timed slaps, his productivity shot through the roof to 98%!!
According to Sethi, it wasn’t just his productivity that Kara’s slaps helped to improve but also the quality of his work. His conclusion was that adding a social element to his work really helped, because not only was Kara there to administer beats when he strayed, she was also a sounding board for his ideas and helped him to accomplish the list of tasks he had to complete.
For more insights on why hiring a slapper could help you increase your productivity, check out Sethi’s blog!