Why I Hired A Girl On Craigslist to Slap Me In The Face — And How It Quadrupled My Productivity


in Make Money, Productivity

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San Francisco: the city of weirdos. It’s got such a collection of nerds, hipsters, millionaires, crack addicts, etc. that no one even notices when a random blogger gets repeatedly slapped in the face.

In San Francisco, everything is done with Craigslist. Need an apartment? Craigslist’s got you covered. Want a bicycle, but you’d rather not buy stolen bikes from the corner of Market and 7th? To Craigslist we go.

It was the perfect location for an experiment on doubling productivity. How could I leverage Craigslist to improve my efficiency?

To me, the answer was obvious: I hired a girl on Craigslist to slap me in the face everytime I used Facebook.

The Craigslist Slapper Experiment

When are you most productive? Depending on your personality, you might not need alone time—you might need a team.

Humans are social animals—we aren’t designed to live and work alone. Now that the average worker’s job is to sit in front of a computer,—often with no supervision—it’s no surprise that we are only productive a three days each week. Having worked mostly alone, on my computer, I found that the majority of my time is spent unproductively.

So I measured my productivity, using a nifty little app called RescueTime (aff link). RescueTime sits in the background of your computer and measures the amount of time you spend on your computer and on each Website. It lets you see exactly how much time you spent hard at work on your Excel spreadsheet—and exactly how much time you wasted watching episodes of [The League] (holy shit go watch The League).

Nothing makes me more embarassed than seeing the amount of hours I spend wasted on Reddit and Facebook chat.

38% productive. That means that almost 19 hours of my time last week were wasted—disappeared, never to be seen again.

I figured, “This is stupid, why am I wasting this time doing nothing? When I have a boss, or someone of authority watching me, I always get my work done. How can I simulate the authority figure?”

Naturally, I believe that an authority figure should have real authority. And I am a big fan of Slap Bets. Put those together — and I realized I needed someone to make me work, with permission to slap me in the whenever I cheated.

So I went on Craigslist, put up an advertisement, and waited to see if anyone would bite.

Title:(domestic gigs) Slap me if I get off task…


I’m looking for someone who can work next to me at a defined location (my house or a mission cafe) and will make sure to watch what is happening on my screen. When I am wasting time, you’ll have to yell at me or if need be, slap me.

You can do your own work at the same time. Looking for help asap, in mission, near 16th mission BART.

Compensation: $8 / hour, and you can do your own work from your computer at the same time.

Within minutes, my inbox began blowing up. I received 20 emails in less than an hour from people who loved the idea. I read through them, found one that stood out, and hired her to meet me at a cafe the day after.

The next day, at 9am, I found Kara sitting and waiting for me. Pulling up a seat, I gave her the basic instructions—she would monitor me for the next few hours, and make sure that I was staying on task. I gave her a list of action items that I needed to accomplish, and made her promise to force me to stay on task.

Yep—a few times, she definitely had to slap me. See the video below.

The results were astounding. Below, you’ll see my graph of average productivity during the experiment.

My average productivity runs around 35-40% on most days. When Kara sat next to me, my productivity skyrocketed to 98%


But not only did my productivity skyrocket—the quality of the work I did skyrocketed as well. Kara forced me to complete my first guest post, The Sex Scandal Technique. She also helped me push through an application for a secret project that I applied to—an application that won, out of hundreds of applicants.

Hack The System is a site about unconventional techniques to improve your productivity and your life. I do experiments to find out the most successful, out-of-the-box approaches to attack specific goals

Click here to get the Minimalist Guide to Hacking Your Habits. This guide a collection of the most successful productivity experiments I’ve ever tested—and a worksheet for implementing the same strategy in your life.



An Analysis: Why Hiring a Slapper works

Without a doubt, this experiment was a success. My biggest takeaway from the experiment is this: If you add a social element to the work that you do, you will become more productive

Honestly, the fear of the slap wasn’t the productivity driver. That just made it fun. The real reason why Kara made me more productive is because she added a social element to writing. When I was drafting the outline, I asked for her feedback. When I couldn’t think of the right way to phrase a sentence, she was there to help. Instead of it being a chore, Kara made it fun to write.

Here are the major reasons why hiring someone on Craigslist to watch me work improved my productivity and quality.

1) Someone else, besides me, knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish that day. In many jobs, you might have a team or a manager who knows what you are supposed to do. My work, however, doesn’t give me the benefit of a boss that plans my todo list. Kara became my makeshift boss, knowing what I needed to get done, and forcing me to do it.

2) Kara pushed me through the cheese monster. I take the phrase “Cheese Monster” from ZeFrank’s awesome video–he defines the cheese monster as the “feeling in your stomach, when you get a ball of energy that tells you to get up and go to the refrigerator and get a cheese sandwich…but the cheese monster will never be satisfied by cheddar but only the cheese of accomplishment.” In those moments where I hit a rough spot and wanted to take a walk or check Facebook, Kara proved to be the most valuable. She made me push through the difficult parts.

3) I finally had someone to bounce ideas off of. Kara helped polish my sentences, and told me if my ideas made sense. That sort of clarity is priceless.

I found that speaking out loud and trying to explain your work to someone else actually helped me to understand what I was trying to say, what I was trying to do. Even when Kara didn’t know the best way, she would ask me questions—and that helped shape my path.

4) The Slap Challenge added a playful, silly element to working. It gave me a nonconventional reminder of what I was supposed to be doing—and it ended up being something I didn’t want to happen again.

5) Having another pair of eyes to go over my content drastically improved the quality of my work. I knew Kara would be reading it, immediately, so I wanted to make sure that the logic was clear, and there were no spelling or grammar mistakes.

If you can turn your todo list into a game—especially a social one, a fun one—it won’t be work anymore. It will be fun. All it takes is building a system.

If you’ve ever done something similar—created a game to finish a task, hired someone to help you get things done, etc—please let me know in the comments.

UPDATE: This article has gone viral! It’s been featured on Daily Mail, Telegraph, Huffington Post, Buzz 60, Digg, NPR, Mix 106.5, The Daily Dot, Business Insider, Venturebeat, and Yahoo! Finance and many more. I’m glad you are all learning so much 🙂


Slapper July 9, 2018 at 1:48 am

I’ve hired one or two slappers off craigslist, too. Who hasn’t?


Joe June 3, 2018 at 6:53 am

Definitely using this (for fun)


Josh March 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm

I have been searching for a woman to spank me hard once per week to help keep me motivated.


Brian Robben February 10, 2016 at 11:27 am

This is hilarious! Love the idea of getting creative when your productivity could use improvement. Now I need to hire someone like that.


Shawn September 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm

next time try sumo wrestler, nice experiment


aphni May 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm

10 bucks says he’s dating this chick now


Maneesh Sethi July 11, 2015 at 10:53 am

Sadly, I’m not 🙁


Velius October 16, 2015 at 9:11 pm

“Sadly”? Yeah, so that makes things a bit clearer regarding your productivity.

You need to do the obvious control experiment. Hire a dude to slap you instead, and see if you still have 98% productivity. 😉


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vishal gupta January 21, 2015 at 5:43 am

I think its a good step for starters.. But I do believe in one statement – “Where there is will, there is way”.. If people don’t have “Will”, managing there tasks will not be useful.. I have tried this myself in order to workout consistently but never could.. I do also believe that solutions will be different for different people, cultures, and countries..
Loved the idea though.. Keep it up..


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vynil October 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

one of the funnuest post i have ever read 🙂


mens watches online October 13, 2014 at 11:10 am

Interesting review you show in Why I Hired A Girl On Craigslist to Slap Me In The Face — And How It Quadrupled My Productivity which I enjoyed.


Dave October 1, 2014 at 11:59 am

I think it’s funny that nobody realized what you have there is called a “Manager”. This is what managers do, and yet we bitch and complain about them. The manager is the one who makes sure we get our work done, stay off our snapchat, stop playing Farmville, and stay on task. This is called the “Manager”. So all you 99%ers out there, this is lesson 101 in business. Management.


Zach October 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm

sure and $8/hour for a manager is about right


brian October 14, 2014 at 4:54 pm

That’s total b.s., if you need a manager to get you to do your job, you don’t need your job. What we need is for everyone to have to be self-employed for a little while, when you are solely responsible for creating your paycheck, you will get yourself motivated or go hungry.


Caleb Abenoja October 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

The problem is some of us are wired to earn just enough. I know many self-employed individuals who have the same qualm. Given that we have a limited willpower, an external push could really do the job to push our unconscious to do more than simply getting by.


LollyW July 9, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Well, hootie tootie to you.
I’m sure there are a lot of people who get distracted just lacking self discipline but sometimes there’s more too it.
Obviously you’ve never known someone with ADHD. Like ME! And many many others. Distraction and hyperfocusing on the wrong thing is our specialty. He was just doing this as an experiment and it proved to be most effective for him and I’m sure it would work for a lot of us. But I’ll pass on the slap for now, thank you very much.


Caleb Abenoja July 11, 2015 at 9:17 am

Maneesh has ADHD.


Balazs June 17, 2014 at 9:08 am

Why did you choose Kara? She was the cutest? Or she gave the biggest?


Maneesh Sethi June 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

she was a good fit


Arun July 6, 2014 at 5:31 am

🙂 waiting for Pavlok to hit India 🙂 – id prefer your latter innovation


RichardCof April 22, 2014 at 8:17 am

Write Something…


JosephCew April 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Write Something…


sararajpoot April 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

Bwahaha. F***ing awesome! I may just have to add this to my bag of tricks.


vanboy March 28, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Now what? a hundred persons hanging from the bridge?


Adnan Siddiqi March 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm

You should marry her now.


Bill July 31, 2014 at 1:09 am

I totally agree. You need this in your life.


Will Ma February 8, 2014 at 1:23 am

You didn’t explain why you hired a girl to do this, why not hire a man?


pieter February 12, 2014 at 1:12 am

Let’s think about this one real hard. Girls are sexy. If you want get slap by a guy fag


TimHensu January 23, 2014 at 5:45 am

How’s things, I have noticed that sometimes this webpage displays an 500 error message. I thought that you would like to know. Best wishes


Shannon November 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Great article…I use the program religiously now, but haven’t made it to hiring a slapper yet. Thank you for shedding light on this program! I also wrote about it at my blog,, and the numbers were dismal.


Kurt October 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Diggin’ it!

Seems that accountability, especially done in a fun and engaging way like this, is a great key to success. Thanks for sharing Maneesh! I’m going to adapt this somehow for my own purposes. Dunno if I’ll hire a girl for slapping, though… Mrs. Frankenberg would pro’ly not appreciate that. 😉


This is You October 4, 2013 at 1:05 am
Anna Robeson August 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Amazing write-up. I love your unique writing style, and I had no idea that there is such a thing as RescueTime. I’m actually going to give it a try right now.

I am also not productive in various moments, and I have no idea how to work better. (I guess I am addicted to facebook and Pinterest).

As a matter of fact I have found an interesting article about Social media management tips on but I’ve haven’t manged to pull myself together yet. I guess I also need a good slap to get productive.



Isauro Diaz March 13, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I can help you be productive but without the slapping part.


Go Here July 18, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!


Anon July 18, 2013 at 2:51 am

Kara is super hot and fit!


source website June 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Great article over again! Thanks=)


Candice April 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Nice weblog here! Also your site a lot up fast!
What host are you using? Can I am getting your associate
link for your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol


nazeem April 3, 2013 at 1:53 am

this article made you famous .so it wasn”t a waste of time nor energy


Kis Gejza March 28, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Do you still employ her?


John Don March 26, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Maybe choose a cute one, it’ll octuplicate your productivity!


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Thanks for scripting this high-quality put up..Beloved your articles or blog posts. Make sure you do continue to keep writing


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Guru February 26, 2013 at 12:47 am

Initially thought it as a funny one. But your reasoning made it feel, its very possible. Thanks for this article.


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The main reason I stick with this web-site is since I’m sure you do generally provide a moderately distinct inclination on things to a lot of alternative websites so high five from me! !


hamayon February 6, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Believe! after reading this post i’m also thinking to hire a person to do this job for me, because I also spent hours daily on Facebook and that too are useless.


Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 4:55 am

Congratulations mate that is wonderful


Nicholas January 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Oh wow, I remember seeing this a long time ago when it was first posted. It’s funny seeing it again after a few months. Slapping is still not a method I have used to try and increase productivity, however.


Matheus January 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Heey, how nice ! It’s cool knowing that people are becoming more and more creative in order to complete daily tasks, which in turn create more and more goodness ! 🙂


popular facebook games January 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Wow! Finally I got a webpage from where I be able to truly get helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.


Lily nicolino January 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Love it. I actually found your site because for some odd reason I was just itching to slap a guy in the face. Your pretty hot mane each, I would slap you silly for free


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What’s up colleagues, its great post concerning educationand completely defined, keep it up all the time.


Ngoc Khong December 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Haha this is hilarious, but it definitely works. Thank you for the great post!
This is the first time I got here but you quite amaze me with your writing style! Will subscribe you in a sec. 🙂


gidon December 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm

I have been doing this for about 5 years. No slaps:-), but plenty of productivity boosting.


david patrick green November 30, 2012 at 9:20 am

Hi Maneesh, I would like to write a guest blog for you. I run an acting career site called, where I have broken down the world’s most mystifying process…how to become a professional actor. Let me know how that sounds.


Pavel November 30, 2012 at 6:33 am

I have to have the assistant too. As home-office worker I am going to instruct her to slap me anytime I have a look at the fridge, play the dog or watch Schimanski on TV


Financial Samurai November 28, 2012 at 7:29 am

The obvious next question is, did you get to slap Kara back?!


maneesh November 28, 2012 at 10:30 am



anon November 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Since you are already using an application that monitors your productivity on your computer and can tell when you are on a website that is considered ‘wasting time,’ you could just hook up an electro-shock type therapy system that shocks yo ass everytime you go on facebook or whatever you consider a waste of time. Should be 80% effective on correcting your behavior according to studies on electro-shock therapy.


maneesh November 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

send me a shock therapy system, i’m down.


Anuj December 1, 2014 at 9:08 am

did you get the pavlok idea from this anon comment ? 😀 😛
just got to know of pavlok today! best of luck!


Vickie November 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I’ve actually had my assistant do a non violent version of this.

On particularly tedious projects, or sometimes after a very long week, I will ask my assistant to sit on the passenger side of the desk with the instructions: “Everytime I stop working on ‘our task’ and start texting or reading Gawker or reading my child’s timeline on FB, please stop me and put me back on task which she does with a loud ‘HEY!”

It’s embarrassing how many times I have whined: Aw, please sit with me, AND MAKE ME just finish my project. TRUE STORY


Dr Kavita Shaikh November 3, 2012 at 1:22 am

Awesome idea Maneesh. Well, whatever the ‘naysayers’ say, you sure benefited from this experiment. If nothing else, this post going viral is a huge accomplishment in itself. Good luck!


Eric Kinkead October 29, 2012 at 11:49 am

I should be slapped right now for checking this website (thus losing productivity on my app development) after hearing this on NPR!!

–slap– ouch!


maneesh October 30, 2012 at 6:38 am



Erin October 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

Yeah. You two make an entertaining and dynamic pair. Aside from the funny kink of a slap on your face versus your leg or arm… This information, follows my impression that, the presence of others witnessing and supporting our task has always helped us. From toddlers on up to seniors. And reminds me of pets that want an owner to watch them eat before they will take in food. Girls sit on each other’s bed and chat or do their own homework or watch the other organize their room. To this day, I do better when others are near when I need to get through tasks on a project, even easy ones. Loved your perspective and article!


maneesh October 30, 2012 at 6:38 am



tom the pirate October 27, 2012 at 8:09 am

A taser would be so much more effective. Also if the assistant was in a bikini with a scream mask it would be much more interesting


Atish Tripathi October 26, 2012 at 3:09 am

Hey Maneesh,
We have a blog where we produce and upload animated webshows. As your ‘Slap Experiment’ was going Viral we also caught it in our radar and made it into a funny animated news capsule called ‘Useless News’.
It’s in Hindi (We are from Mumbai, India) so I am not sure if you know Hindi, but have a look.


Michael Tobin October 25, 2012 at 1:45 am

Maneesh… I wanna repeat your experiment but just realised it is not easy to locate another “Kara” for it. She is cool.
Another thing is I am not sure if rescuetime can precisely reflects productivity. Sometimes we are not productive even though we are away from Facebk.


PrIyAnGsHu October 24, 2012 at 7:18 am

Though funny, it seems to be a great idea to increase our productivity. Nice experiment, let me watch the video now.


Anonimica October 24, 2012 at 2:49 am

Thank you Maneesh.
Now I know why I have been not only feeling frustrated, but also not putting out good work at my last assignment (solo project in new organisation). And because I know a cause, I can find a solution, or more than one probably. My mind starts bustling….


Mike October 23, 2012 at 5:15 am

Across the ocean, on the other side of the world in our little country in Europe, reading headlines:
…got killed…
…bad economy…
…random complaining…


Arjun October 23, 2012 at 4:33 am

Awesome Idea! May be, I too have to implement such things. I am addicted to Facebook, really should take some implementations. This seems to be a great idea!


Mélissa October 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Hey ! Salut !
You are famous in France today. I read an article in a french magazine about you slap’s method and now i’m visiting your website. Good work ! It’s too bad for your cheek, It’s to be red at the end of the day ^^ !
Bon courage pour la suite !!


Tatiana October 22, 2012 at 4:37 am

Nice idea! I’m going to implement this technique when my husband working) It can definitely help and boost productivity.
But unfortunately, I won’t be able to work spying on my husband.


Anthony Kunihiro October 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm

This is one innovative and clever idea to add a productive social element to getting work done. I love it! The beauty of it and combining it with Craigslist is the ability to hire such a person anywhere you are. Best of luck, and I’ll also give it a try. Cheers, Anthony


Zeljko October 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

Next time hire bodybuilder for slaps.
That will raise productivity even higher :D.


Torumoy October 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

Hey, just want to let you know that you have been featured in the most circulated newspaper in Bangladesh. Read if you know Bengali (or is that a language you want to learn?). Here is the link:


Max October 21, 2012 at 7:53 am

Very funny, i love the idea! BTW, your blog sidebar is messed up in chrome, you might want to fix it.


Pankaj Singh October 21, 2012 at 2:25 am

I should try that too…. One hell of a great Idea


Mark October 20, 2012 at 10:42 am

Great! Was weird enough not to get guessed on _Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell me_!


Thomas Brambor October 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm


You should take a look at the app Anti Social ( It blocks all social websites for a pre-specified time (say 1 hour) and you would need to restart the computer (Mac only) if you wanted to stop it. Helped me a lot to boost productivity.



Single October 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I mean *not earn so much


Single October 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm

It’s great job for $8 / hour. I’m programmer and earn so much. I can php/ruby/js also html5/css3 and mysql/oracle/postgresql do for you, when your productivity will fall


jason diller October 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I cant believe this was real. Well done hack.

girl 1 dude 0

kinda like life.


Tom Masiero October 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Maneesh… brillant stuff. How sustainable do you think you this is?

Also do you see a potential service out of this?

Justin and team over at should be jumping all over this 🙂


andrew calwert January 3, 2013 at 1:21 am

Not interested in how to become more productive but like the second statement about the plane ticket.BTW great idea dude!


Grace October 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

Dude; just get your IT department to block Facebook (for your IP address). Or — someone should open an Internet cafe that blocks Facebook. #problemsolved


Greg October 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

Does she come to your house and do spankings, also?


youdontneedtoknowmyname October 19, 2012 at 8:16 am

so what your saying is that in order for you to be productive you need an authority figure in your life to make sure you stay on task? ever hear of something called self-determination. the fact that you are encouraging people to become reliant on authoritative processes is terrible to me. people accept no responsibility for themselves anymore.


Chris Reynolds October 19, 2012 at 6:43 am

Bro, your work is getting better and better by the day. I love this stuff. Here is how I plug social events into my BIG ASS GOALS.

1. Learn Spanish in 90 days—We threw a “Spanish Only” party at the end of the 90 days. We had people and food from all over the world and made people wear ‘Solo Espanol” signs. One of the most fun and rewarding parties I have ever thrown.

2. Charity for Children with Developmental Disabilities in Costa Rica.
At the end of our fundraiser, people came from all over the world to trek with us from the volcano hot springs to climbing tallest mountain in Costa Rica, all of us trekking for something bigger than ourselves.

3. Our current project “Building an Organic Farm for Malnourished Children in Peru” we are again having people come from all over the world for Adventure Travel to Machu Picchu at the end of the project. We will be working side by side with the villagers to build the farm and visiting all the Inca Ruins at the same time.

This gives me fuel to not give up on the goal, it holds me accountable.

These social events make me step up and hold my ass accountable when I want to eat popcorn and watch Grey’s Anatomy on netflix…

I also just finished reading “The Facebook Effect”. Facebook will hire a DJ that comes in for all night computer programming sessions. The employees basically pull all nighters while the DJ just plays awesome music all night long. This give them a massive boost in productivity….I am definitely going to use this one.

Congrats on the success of you blog man….you deserve it…..I have always been one of your biggest fan and get more and more excited about your work everyday…….Cheers from Peru Brotha, Chris


Karlo October 19, 2012 at 3:41 am

Maneesh.. i’ just imagined how it would be to slap my coworkers everytime i see them surfing the net. Made my day..

I’d like to share my story how an indian va helped me avoiding 10 days of jail:

Serving in the swiss military as an sap developer brought me the privilige to work with civil guys after basic training. I had a project to do and could go home every day.

Due to my insomnia and long nights of billiard duels, i overslept on a regular basis. On day 288 of 300, the responsible person for my military obligations calld me to his office, anouncing my last shooting test and if i would miss it, he would personaly take care to put me in jail for 10 days. (Which is easy because military life is different then the normal one)
This measurement is explainable by the fact that i used to skip hole days by getting the secretary check outlook calenders of my chefs, and simply not showing up when they where not at station.

Reading the four hour work week i finally got the motivation to get an VA. A short call to india and the permament phone call beging at 5am on described dooms day woke me up. Instead of an drill instructor a sweet female voice woke me up, cracked up some jokes and so i started my day with a hughe smile. Till then i used this service for several months wakeing up happely ever after.

So i really can understand why you got a slapper.

If you would like to know, how the book yes man, helped me meet the top dating instructors of the industry, following to get an radio interview invitation.

How i got help from one of the worlds best professors, to build a man group for young adults of divorced parents from scratch.

Feel free to visit me in switzerland, slap my face and have some coffe together (well email is a way aswell..) 😉

Cheers and virtual high five


Felix October 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

Very funny, i love the idea!


Govind October 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm

What an idea Maneesh! But is there any specific reason behind hiring a lady or hiring Kara and not a guy? If you would have hire a guy your productivity would have skyrocketed to full 100%.


hyderali October 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm


Maneesh, first time on your blog & hooked into it. Really man, there are some people on earth who do strange things in real. Hiring a girl to finish off your task! This is crazy but I love it. You had to have some to complete your task it could be anyone your boss, gf, mom, grandmother, friend or even a stranger. Without pressure or someone standing on your head you can’t do anything.

Totally in love of your blog. Will definitely read some other crazy things you’ve done till now.


Anand October 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Brilliant, Maneesh! Absolutely brilliant. 🙂


sebastian October 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

tell me about it, I having hard time been productive myself, I think there should be a way to keep us the bloggers and computer freaks productive, I can’t hire a good looking girl to slap me that will not work for me, maybe I need to block facebook and other social sites 🙂 nice blog, greetings from Kansas


Axel October 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Were it reads “Click here to get the Minimalist Guide to Hacking Your Habits” I see no link.

Can you please provide a link?


ConsciouslyFrugal October 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I found your little site via Yahoo and ohlordjesus, this made my day. So hilarious! Looking forward to reading what else you have to offer. Although the slapping is hilarious and divine and my god, do I ever want to do this (the slapper, not the slappee, thank you very much), might I suggest just getting a writing partner? Surely SF has more gorgeous gals to work with?


Cody Wheeler October 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Congrats on your viral post and your massive productivity increase Maneesh. A Facebook shout out from Tim Ferriss is a pretty cool thing! I hope you get a lot of new subscribers and fans from it. It looks like you’ve done a lot of cool things here. Keep up the good work dude.


James Norquay October 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Interesting study, good too see it has gone viral too hehe =) Might have to use other methods to increase productivity but =)


perfume malaysia October 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Nice Idea!!!. but must have lot money to do this.


Mike Creuzer October 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Or maybe you were more productive because you were doing a study on when you were more productive, the slapping was just to get people to read your article. Maybe.


Lil October 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Haha… I need a slapper right now! (the US variety it seems). Productivity isn’t one of my strong points – like now, when I should be working on my e-book, but instead I’m reading entertaining articles like this!

Right better slap myself and get back to it… but not before I share this with my followers. 🙂



Sebastian October 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Phenomenal idea bud. Might have to give it a go next pay day and i’ll let you know how it goes hah.


ranndino October 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm



dtf October 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm

pretty sure you just need a female companion..


ranndino October 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

Internet has been a bane of my existence from the beginning as I was always an extremely curious kid that voraciously consumed information. Social networks are a bit of a problem, but the larger issue is that I just like to read or watch videos just about everything. On the plus side that’s made me very well rounded and knowledgeable on a very wide range of topics, but on the minus side it really gets in the way of my productivity.

I just finished a long term contract at a top company and am considering working on my own startup idea from home. Even before reading this my girlfriend volunteered to do exactly this. Kick my ass when I get off course. Slapping isn’t something that we’ve talked about, but I may add it if other means of influencing me don’t work. One benefit of having your girlfriend do it is that she can threaten to not have sex with you for 1-3 days if you don’t get your shit done.


maneesh October 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

Most of the women I meet threaten to not have sex with me also, but it isn’t for only 3 days 🙁


Malcolm Fry October 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

Great minds think alike check out this video that I recorded about ten years ago
looks like we are on the same wavelength


Mark October 18, 2012 at 7:43 am

I never really “got” the idea of Pair Programming (Agile concept) until I read this article.

Thanks for the great read!


Mike Dutch October 18, 2012 at 7:40 am

This is a sad insight into someone’s inability to focus. Everyone struggles with focus from time to time but this is not a struggle to focus but a sheer display of irresponsibility.


maneesh October 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

Why do you think that this is a display of irresponsibility?


Mike Dutch October 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm

If you don’t see how spending tons of time on useless media instead of doing your work is not irresponsible then you have a bigger problem than I suspected.


James Lewis October 18, 2012 at 4:47 am

Basically dude, you’ve just (painfully) proved why pair programming works. Replace the slapper with another programmer and run the experiement again. The results will blow your mind.


Di October 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I work mostly from home, and boy do I wish someone would hire me for doing my own work while occasionally slapping him.


Amber King October 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm

This is a great idea. When we work alone, we tend to lose focus and do other things. Having someone look out for you is great. However, this should not go on forever, we need to discipline ourselves.


michael soriano October 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

awesome post.

Hey Maneesh, i would appreciate if you put back my link in the footer for the theme design (
send some traffic my way.


Anton October 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I think you need to run a control arm for your claim that there’s a social aspect to your experiment (I happen to believe you but a control arm might help you produce a fun product). I’m suggesting a mechanical device that will search out your face and slap you when you visit websites that aren’t related to the work you’re doing. MAYBE just the physical threat would be enough to improve your productivity. If so, market your new auto-slapper and make millions 😉


cad October 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

“An Analysis: Why Hiring a Slapper works”


jason October 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

Is Kara single? Let me know. Unless of course, you’re already dating her.



maneesh October 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

Not single, not dating me 🙁


Kate October 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

This is awesome! And it works. I have two instances in my life where I have done similar things. I hate betting money, and I also hate when I don’t do things I say I am going to do. I told one of my friends who teaches a crossfit class at 6am twice a week that every week I don’t come to one of her classes I have to pay her $5. (I wanted to do more but she thought it was too weird). I also have someone who is working on the same things as me so every day we have to message each other DONE when we are done with the 2 tasks. I never want to be the person that doesn’t say ‘done’. Way to get creative and ridiculous. Love it.


maneesh October 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

NICE I love the idea!


John October 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

I want to know where you hired
the guy for $2/hour.


Daniel Reeves October 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

Ooh, we totally turned this idea into a startup. (For real, modulo physical slapping.)

Danny of Beeminder


A Brit October 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

Dude, look up “slapper” on urbandictionary. Might want to be a bit more careful with your words, what with the gradual Britification of American English as well 😛


maneesh October 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

Sorry brits 🙂


Clinton Wu October 17, 2012 at 6:03 am

Thanks! Just inspired me to apply this to how my cofounder and I work together in the office. Instead of sitting face to face, we’re going to sit side by side with our screens fully visible to each other. Even though I don’t want to create a culture of over-the-shoulder, under-the-thumb management, I think just having the social pressure to not be on Facebook for an hour is good. Should still be able to take breaks and mess around but I think it will drive productivity for both of us.


James G October 17, 2012 at 4:58 am

How was Kara’s productivity that day? Did she get her work done as well? 🙂


PatrickWall October 17, 2012 at 3:44 am

Just brilliant!


stefan October 17, 2012 at 3:43 am

or… “How craigslist thought of cheap marketing” just by writing an article that is spread all around the social cloud.


Sasha October 17, 2012 at 3:31 am

Awsome article! Informative, funny and innovative. I am going to try it as soon as I can 🙂


Sylv October 17, 2012 at 2:29 am

For my last set of finals, me and my friends holed up in one of the maths building in uni and crammed as much as we could. It really worked as when someone got distracted we were like “no. Keep doing calculus” plus it was fun


Vin Gardner October 17, 2012 at 2:19 am

A brilliant way to work. Apart from the slap itself, I can see you’ve applied the same concepts of pair programming.


Greig October 17, 2012 at 12:24 am

“I found that speaking out loud and trying to explain your work to someone else actually helped me to understand what I was trying to say, what I was trying to do”

Programmers call this “rubber duck debugging”… Eg explaining code line by line to an inanimate object, forcing themselves to think the problem out loud 🙂


John Mayer October 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm

First of all, you paid someone $8 an hour of course you are going to be more productive. If you weren’t you would be throwing your money away.

Also, you happened to be working on something that Kara could help you with. Good luck finding a competent specialist in your field to bounce ideas off for $8 an hour.


obiageli October 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Ummm…sounds like a single guy just realized some roles a woman can play in his life and how she can help his productivity. Get a wife, matey! Sounds like you appreciate (and are falling in love with) Kara already. 😀


Davor Debrecin October 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Hehe, although I like the post and the creative method, that’s exactly what I thinking while reading the post. 🙂


lin yutang October 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

The three great American vices seem to be efficiency, punctuality, and the desire for achievement and success. They are the things that make the Americans so unhappy and so nervous.


@chrisco October 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm
Louis Foo October 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Funny yet brilliant idea. At the same time, you’ve just invented a new job “slappers”. 😀

btw : Kara is cute 😀


Alan October 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm

We are a social animal. I’ve found that no matter the lofty purpose, if there isn’t another human being that needs what you are trying to create, I find it much more difficult to produce.

Its not even a boss. It could be a three year old waiting to see her name on a web page. The things we do have to have meaning and there is no meaning without other people.


sarah October 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

thats an interesting idea … sometime when i’m not productive at home i got out with friends & then go back to work .. make me more productive again

that helps too ..


Mike October 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm

This is humorous and all, but the sad thing is that so many people, many of whom base most of their decisions on science and technology, have gone all in on pair programming, when all of the published peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown time and again that pair programming is actually only beneficial when training new programmers in an educational setting. For experienced programmers, it gives them a false sense of improved output and reliability, because it adds a social component to what has traditionally been an isolated activity. Many people and companies claim improved results, but when subjected to scientific study, those benefits don’t exist. So, if it makes you feel better, fine, but know that you’re doing the equivalent of astrology.


Robby October 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Wow, I work for RescueTime and this is, without a doubt, one of the most awesome productivity experiments I’ve ever heard of. I think the real interesting bit is the social nature of it. The effects you’re noticing are the same reasons that pair-programming works, or people opt for coworking spaces instead of working from home. It’s pretty cool to see some actual numbers around it. Glad we could be a tiny part of it!

Also, from the comments, Accountabilibuddy is my new favorite word.


maneesh October 17, 2012 at 4:33 am

Hey! Thanks so much for commenting—RescueTime is a great piece of software and I’m glad I can spread it to the masses 🙂


Nathan Broadbent (@nathanf77) October 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Thanks for introducing me to RescueTime! I think I might spend a little too much time on Reddit and Hacker News, so it will be really helpful to keep a record.


janet October 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm

clever idea. loved the video!


Yu-kai Chou October 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Interestingly, if you just work with a friend, you could EASILY be distracted more with random conversations, “Check this out on Facebook!” and all the other good stuff. But this is a “friend” who is specifically there to help you get stuff done. That’s the key to making the social “fun” AND “productive” at the same time 😉



Marc October 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Gotta have some peeps around during the day for sure. I’ve spent time working alone in a dark home office, and my focus was often way off… bit of FB, check some emails, turn on a bit of tv for background noise; complete productivity destroyer!


Raymond Duke October 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm

This is very weird.


Roy Joseph October 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

That’s a really good technique and the element of slapping definitely adding fun to it…but it doesnt mean it will work for everyone. Its kindaa like when you are going for group study during the last night for the learn more and someone’s there to push you through when you lose concentration and put you back on track..


Gothan October 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Oh LOL! I liked the girl in the back thinking: wtf is with those two?


Marshal Wong October 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Good to add 1 to hold you accountable, but there are decreasing returns for more than one (unless you’re brainstorming). Risks declining into a gab-fest.

So for those of us who are still inclined to keep an office job, I think finding an “office buddy” is a good way to implement the same idea.

I wonder if this is somehow related to why some people get more done when stressed with a pending deadline. A forced “precommitment”?


TJ October 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm

If kara = 4x productivity, then why didn’t you hire her full time? slacker 😉


diddy October 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

It probably helps that she’s cute.


Chad October 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm


This is certainly an… interesting, way of staying productive.

I agree with you; I think that the lack of social interaction for those of us that work at home (or are locked in cubicles) is what really pushes us towards distraction. We don’t get it at home, or in the cubicle, so we spend time on places like Facebook to try and get it. At least, that’s how it is for me.

Personally, I set a reminder on my phone to go for a walk – preferably with people around – and I find that when I return, I’m a heck of a lot more productive than if I had simply spent the entire time at my desk.


Jana October 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Hey Maneesh!

In my experience, giving my word to someone motivates me to (Nike ruined this phrase for me…) just do it.

I also realize that when I was working as a producer, with a team who looked to me to keep it all together, I didn’t let the ‘collective’ down either.

Now I’m working really alone, on a remote island in deep wilderness. And so I am learning how to give my word to my SELF. Slowly, I’m learning how to keep my word to me. (Self slapping helps.)



Mihai October 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Perfect! So you found yourself a wife.


Rafa October 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Don’t you think that the fact she is so cute may have had something to do with your improvement?


TraderTimm October 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm


Dave October 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm

This method has been working for Italian parents for years lol.

My aunt used to slap me upside the head and say “That’s for nothing, now do something”. It always worked, everytime I did nothing I was waiting for the slap… so I just went and did something.


Sherry October 17, 2012 at 7:48 am

Brilliant Dave!! I think I must try this as well!! lol


autumn seiler January 7, 2013 at 9:39 am

not so brilliant for u to say to me


robson October 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

hahahaha… muito bom, ótimo, excelente, hahaha…


Nomadic Matt October 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Can I slap you too?


maneesh October 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

anytime sweet thang


Dilanka October 16, 2012 at 11:52 am


I hope this is a joke…because this is not only absurd, it’s completely useless. I checked my calendar to make sure it wasn’t April Fools.

I think Kara (or any other random stranger on craigslist) is a complete waste of money, time and energy (among many other things) and has NO BEARING whatsoever on one’s productivity.

There’s one person that can improve one’s productivity..and that’s himself/herself.



Chris Bolton October 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

except… it did.

and they both had a pretty good time it seems like. what’s wrong with you? 😛


Joe October 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Did you read the post.. the stats are there to see.

Awesome experiment.


Navigate October 16, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Did you even read the whole thing…? No don’t answer that, you clearly didn’t. It’s made clear that the slapping thing is just a fun little thing to *prove a point*, genius. This is me shaking my head at you… and then rolling my eyes… and then moving on.


Dilanka October 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

You guys are such a bunch of kiss asses. I am sorry, but I personally didn’t find this helpful. End of story.

Making pretty graphs to please the eye does not mean it’s a useful experiment. But hey, if you really find it helpful. All the power to you. 🙂


Kevin Elliott October 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

Thank you! Some one who is rational and grown up, and not silly like the other commenters.

No doubt was this a fun little “experiment” but it proves nothing. A RescueTime graph change caused by a chick who sits next to you and slaps you when you use Facebook. It’s a joke.

If you truly think this has any real relevance in the world, then you’re out of your mind.


maneesh October 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

I disagree. It absolutely has relevance. For one, I now always try to have a coworking buddy. I often pay employees, when really their job is to make sure I’m doing my job. And, my productivity has multiplied 10x.

Annika S October 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

This is hilarious, I love it! I definitely agree that having a social element to work helps heaps – for some reason I can always do the work my boss tells me to do, but write an article of my own accord… nowhere near as easy!
Also, did you know that “Slapper” in British English means “slut” or “tramp” – that gives “Why hiring a Slapper works” an entirely different meaning!


Aleta October 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

I quit watching tv as I thought it was taking up all my free time. Within 2 hours I realized it was my online usage that was wasting all my free time. Close down Facebook and gain half your life back.


Ron October 16, 2012 at 9:06 am

I have a good friend of mine who is my Accountabilibuddy. We have and agreement to hold each other accountabilibuddyable. Each quarter we set our top 3 business goals and a health goal. We hang out at least once a week and give each other shit if we aren’t making progress.

At the end of the quarter we make the case to each other for why we completed or failed to complete each goal and for each failure massive shit talking ensues. It’s a friendly competition, but it makes you not want to lose!


Vasco October 16, 2012 at 8:20 am

The Law of Attraction (or whatever the hell is happening) is sick, man! Yesterday I decided to quit Facebook and a few hours afterwards Steve Pavlina tweeted “Would you rather spend 2 hours in deep conversation… or 2 hours Facebooking and emailing? What do you actually do?”. Now I opened an account on RescueTime and when I check your blog, bam! There is the universe again telling me I’m on the right path 🙂
I love the universe and my life!

Anyway, thanks for the post. It kind of made my day and now I’m even more looking forward to tweaking RescueTime so that I can be more productive.


Dave October 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Is that the same Steve Pavlina that wrote a (very long) series of posts on polyphasic sleep a few years ago? I was up for 72 hours reading every last page until I got to the end and finally crashed out for a day. Normally I can barely keep my eyes open past the 36 hour mark.

Was it productive? Probably not, but it’s food for thought. If I can force myself to stay awake for the sole reason of reading a few articles, then in theory the same logic could be applied to “getting stuff done” too.


Sudheer Dunga October 16, 2012 at 8:15 am

lol, superb idea. How did you get this kind of ideas.


Brian Kwong October 16, 2012 at 7:36 am

I read the article, left a comment and went to watch her slapping you.
That was good, I watched it 5 times LOL


Daniel April 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Me too hahah. going to watch it again


Brian Kwong October 16, 2012 at 7:35 am

Lovve it man, this definitely make sense as I was way more productivity when I was working in an office with my bosss breathing over my neck vs working at home.
Its a shame to admit but you just found a solution!

Gotta figure how I can implement this that works for my situation hmmmm


JB October 16, 2012 at 7:23 am

the look on her face as she slaps you – priceless


Arash October 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Great article Maneesh. Keep it up!

Can i slap you for free when you get distracted?


autumn seiler January 7, 2013 at 9:38 am

i will slap u in the face and then i am going to sit back and laugh my butt off


Therese October 16, 2012 at 8:29 am

Bwahaha. F***ing awesome! I may just have to add this to my bag of tricks.


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