Creating anticipation will help your happiness and productivity!

January 12, 2009          Comments (3)

Recently, I sold a domain name I owned.

After 6 weeks of negotiating, the person interested in buying the name said something like, “Let’s wrap this up already!” Even though I got the price I wanted, I was the one delaying the closure of the deal because I was enjoying the negotiations!

It wasn’t about the money.

There was something thrilling about writing an offer via email and waiting for the response. The back and forth was so enjoyable! It was, of course, the anticipation.

The same thing happened with my new website for A very tiny part of me didn’t want it to be completed so I could say ‘my new website is coming soon…’ This way, I could just think about the potential of it because thinking about the potential is very exciting.

Anticipation can absolutely make your life better. And sometimes, I enjoy the anticipation of an event more so than the actual event I’m anticipating!

Whether it’s planning trips or figuring out your fun plans for the week or weekend, setting things up for yourself to look forward to will absolutely make you happier.

I try to create anticipation as often as possible. Even in odd ways.

For example, if I get an email from one of my friends that I know is going to be funny and filled with plenty of banter (I can never get enough banter) or any sort of message, sometimes I’ll actually wait a while before I check it. If I get a package in the mail I might not open it for a couple of days. Or if there’s a book or a blog post I’m excited to read, I won’t read it for a few weeks or hours.

Even just waiting 30 minutes to check a text message or an email from someone you’re looking forward to hearing from can work wonders for your happiness and can also boost productivity!

Anticipation and curiosity is a form of tension and when there’s tension you’re going to want to relieve it.

It’ll make you extremely focused if you set boundaries like I have to finish xyz before I check it.

Here are some other examples of odd things I do to create anticipation to get things done:

One. After I cook dinner, and my food looks all beautiful on my plate, I’ll clean all the dishes right then and there (besides, the plate of course). The anticipation of eating my deliciously healthy and warm home cooked meals forces me to get the dishes done. If I want dinner…I have to clean the dishes!

Two. Sometimes, I relent and leave the dishes for after dinner. I drink a lot of water and am constantly peeing. After dinner I usually have to pee badly but before I let myself pee I’ll clean all of the dishes. If I want to pee…I have to clean the dishes.

Three. While I’m using mouthwash, I’ll quickly clean my room. The tension and anticipation of getting the minty burning sensation out of my mouth, forces to me focus on the task at hand! If I don’t want to be in minty pain…I have to clean my room quickly!

How can you use anticipation to make yourself happier and/or more productive?

Try it. It works wonders!

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  1. Adam, love the tips. I do #1 with the dishes too…thought I was the only one 🙂

    “And sometimes, I enjoy the anticipation of an event more so than the actual event I’m anticipating!”

    I’ve 100% found the same thing when it comes to launching a new website. I almost always go through a post-launch “depression”. I put it in quotes because it’s probably not a true depression, but just a let down from all of the anticipation and excitement that’s been building for months. Couple that with the fact that the results are never ever immediate, and you go from anticipating the biggest thing ever in your life to having to deal with the reality that it’ll take a good long time for it to really pay off.

    Comment by Adam McFarland — January 12, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

  2. This is a totally random question. The picture you have posted with this blog entry, could you tell me where it is from? Which movie?

    Comment by Dawn — February 2, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  3. Hi Dawn,

    I’m actually not sure. Sorry!


    Comment by Adam — February 2, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

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