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As we contemplate what are best practices re motivation, one notices an odd way to motivate oneself to do things with a sort of reverse, or “negative field” theory involved.

Not only does the brain/mind have its own attention focus, and its own timing on changing our attention from one activity to another (hey it’s time for a break)…but also we find ourselves doing things on a To Do list to keep from having to do other things on the To Do list.

Alas, for some or all of us, life sometimes feels like everything we do is just a way to postpone or get out of having to do something else. Was it Freud who said everything in life is just one big distraction from Death?

Anyway, humans attention span theater is a puzzle… one that some “industries” have to figure out. Can’t sell a movie ticket if you can’t keep viewers attention, same with commercials. But moving people through an airport, or on and off planes…one still needs to direct attention…and hold attention on the focus of the moment.

Do schools use the principles of “procrastination” as motivation too? Do they motivate by creating a “less onerous” path on the “activity decision trees” of students? All that stuff about “paying attention” in class so that you don’t get a “pink slip” for “detention”? Classrooms as locations for unlawful behavior… and sentences to the prison down the hall? And what does that have to do with learning online?

If you don’t have “sticks” online, then one would need to maximize “positive” motivation.But would that still include procrastination as a motivation tool? Dress it up in new clothes to make it attractive somehow? Yeah... Sure