Covered in detailed on his personal blog, author Maneesh Sethi used Craigslist to hire a woman that would slap him in the face each time he wasted time browsing updates on Facebook, Reddit and other sites. In order to gauge how much time he was spending on unproductive sites, Sethi used an application called RescueTime to measure how much time he spend on his work. At the end of his first week using the application, Sethi discovered that he spent about six hours a day on his computer on workdays. However, only 38 percent of that time (approximately two hours and fifteen minutes) was spent on actual work.
Sethi turned to Craiglist and placed an advertisement in the domestic gigs section that was titled “Slap me if I get off task…” Sethi was looking for someone that could do their work beside him at his house or a local cafe that had Wi-Fi.
The only requirement was that the person had to yell at Sethi or slap him in the face when he got off task. With a compensation rate of $8 per hour, Sethi immediately received about twenty emails in the first hour. After perusing through the respondents, he choose a girl named Kara and they made plans to meet in a cafe close to his home.
After introducing himself to Kara at the cafe at 9 a.m. the following day, Sethi supplied her with a to-do list of items that he needed to accomplish that day. After a workday of sporadic yells and slaps, Sethi discovered that his productivity went up from 38 percent to 98 percent. He was able to complete a guest blog post in addition to an application for a project he wanted to tackle.
Sethi attributed his productivity to the added social element rather than the fear of getting slapped. Specifically, he felt more accountable for his work since Kara was both watching and checking over it. In addition, he was able to utilize Kara as a sounding board for different approaches to his work.