Public Vs. Monetary Pressure: Another 12-Hour Challenge

January 15, 2010 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Last week I streamed myself live on video on my blog for the first time. I worked for 12 hours straight (it was actually 14 since I took a couple hours to create the blog post and set the stream up) and allowed myself only one 5-minute break each hour and one 1-hour break to eat lunch or dinner.

I put up a $100 bounty to the first person who caught me cheating (such as taking an extra break, taking a 6-minute break instead of a 5-minute break, etc.) and I’m happy to say that I did manage to work those 12 hours successfully. I got quite a bit done and was happy with the results.

At first it was a bit distracting getting used to being streamed live on the Internet and having a chatroom with a few people constantly in there, some asking me questions or talking to me, but I did get used to it and was able to ignore it for the most part and work.

The Challenge

Here’s the deal: I’m going to work today for 12 hours straight from 12:30pm noon to 12:30am, Pacific Time (3:30pm-3:30am Eastern Time).

I am be allowed a 1-hour break for a lunch or dinner break (to be taken at the time of my choosing), and a 5-minute break every hour to use the bathroom, refill my beverage, etc. I will type something like ‘break’ or ‘brb’ in the chatroom of the live stream every time before I leave, and ‘back’ when I return.

The chatroom has a “toggle timestamp’ feature, which if enabled, will show the time next to each message so you can tell how long I’ve been on break.

You can view my official live video streaming page by going here, which allows for more chatroom and video options.

Lessons Learned From Last Time

The previous challenge was a very neat and interesting experience, and once the challenge was over it was a huge relief to be able to finally leave the computer and watch a bit of TV before going to bed.

However, there were a few things that gave me a bit of trouble, and so I have adjusted the ‘rules’ slightly for this challenge to account for these things. First, there were a few times when I needed to get something but couldn’t because I wasn’t allowed to leave my desk.

For example, I needed a pen, and then later a CD, but even though they were literally behind me on other desks in my office 3-seconds away, I wasn’t able to grab them since it would have been ‘cheating’.

Also, it’s amazing just how short a 5-minute break really is. It’s barely enough time to go to the bathroom and make a cup of coffee (instant coffee too!), so they really aren’t breaks as they are refuelling periods. I have not extended this, but just thought I’d point that out :-)

I have also added in the rules that I am not responsible for things beyond my control. For example, if a package comes and I need to sign for it or I get a personal phone call. If something like this happens, I will try to expedite things as fast as possible, but I should be allowed exceptions for such things.

Monetary or Public Pressure?

Since my previous challenge had both the money ($100) and public (live video and blog follow-up) pressures, I’m curious if one was much more influential than the other, so I am running another challenge now but without the $100 cash prize. As a result, the only pressure will be public humiliation.

Therefore, I could stop at any time and not have to pay any penalty – that’s up to me – but I’m curious if I can (or “am willing” may be a better choice of words) still complete this challenge within the rules given.


  • I’m allowed to make quick and direct trips to receive items that pertain to work such as pens, CDs, paper, etc. This does not include things such as beverages or snacks.
  • I am allowed to eat at my desk while working. Remember, 12 hours is a long time and I do have to eat.
  • Chatting on instant messenger does count as work. Any chatting done is always work-related, and in fact, is necessary to my business.
  • I am not responsible for things beyond my control such as power failures, fire alarms, phone calls, deliveries, etc.
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Posted: January 15th, 2010 under Uncategorized  

36 Responses to “Public Vs. Monetary Pressure: Another 12-Hour Challenge”

  1. Glad the last one worked well enuogh to do it again! Best of luck being productive.

  2. Bidet says:

    Glad to see that you are doing again, I hope you get a lot of work again this time around.

  3. Joe says:

    Take your finger out of your nose Tyler! I saw that.

  4. Adam says:

    If you need to do this for motivation, you are screwed. You will get tired of this game!! You need to find more a reason to keep motivated.

    • I agree with Adam. While the webcam pressure may help for now, I don’t think it is a very good long term strategy. You need to find other ways to stay on track and motivated. Try making daily goals that you have to complete before allowing yourself any long breaks. Or create other mid to long term goals with some type of reward upon completion.

      • Tyler Cruz says:

        Yeah, it’s most definitely not a long term strategy, it’s a very short term strategy (hence the no notice). It’s just to force me to work a flurry of 12 hours to get a lot of work done in one day and catch up with things :-)

  5. used tires says:

    Well this is pretty cool what you’ve been doing, I’ve watched it from time to time today. Will be interesting to see how it pans out in the future.

    Till then,


  6. Griffin says:

    I almost caught you today, you came back within a few minutes of your 1 hour break. nice work!

  7. Soares says:

    You really want to be caught…LOL

  8. Lets see how this one goes by :)

  9. Ugly Fat Pig says:

    ” 12 hours is a long time and I do have to eat”

    Yeah, I’m sure a fatassed pig like you would die if he couldn’t eat for so long

  10. David Walker says:

    I’m impressed Tyler.

    I know I wouldn’t’ have been able to do it as the constant scrutiny would have driven me round the bend ( the Big Brother is watching feel)

    I’m the type to glare at invigilators when they peek over my shoulders during exams and have a personal space a meter wide….

    Thus, in my books, you are very brave, more so if you got the work done.

  11. I’m the type to glare at invigilators when they peek over my shoulders during exams and have a personal space a meter wide….

  12. LukePeerFly says:

    I missed pretty much that whole day except at the very end. Glad to see you made it. Didn’t have to pay anyone?

  13. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    Omg! I just went out for a day and I’d missed out your 12 hour challenge again..too bad! So anyone caught you Tyler?


    • Yes I completely missed this last web cam forced work day too. I think Tyler should’ve given advanced notice to ensure more people were aware. I think he copped out a bit by removing the cash incentive. I guess he wasn’t that sure that he could actually follow through on the work this time around.

  14. Wesley says:

    You should announce these types of things earlier, I’m sure it would draw even more of a crowd. I don’t know how popular this turned out to be, but perhaps you could add some sort of advertising / sponsor message every 1 hour or so. Just a thought :)

  15. Very beastly…but you are doing another one? Wow…

  16. Bidet says:

    This is great, are you going to do another one? Did you get a lot of work done this time around?

  17. Link Wheels says:

    Anyone catch him this time around?

  18. Nice job. When ever i force my self to work for a long period of time i get a lot progress done. That’s smart to pay people for catching you cheat which will make you work without much distractions aside from the chat room.

  19. Cool experiment! I’m not quite as comfortable throwing myself out there in a public arena……maybe next year…..

  20. I find I will do this some times like cramming for an exam I will just stay up all night to catch up on projects, then the next day I am useless just browsing blogs all day…. wait that was last night… hehe

  21. VHS to DVD says:

    Sorry to have missed these first two livecasts. I agree with other posters about the questionable effectiveness of this in the long-term, but hey – if it works for you to address your short-term workload, all the better. Any plans to make this a regular daily webcast?

  22. tattoo kits says:

    Great idea! I am sure after awhile you probably forgot you were even on camera!

  23. oyun says:

    Very beastly…but you are doing another one? Wow…

  24. Program says:

    This is great, are you going to do another one? Did you get a lot of work done this time around?

  25. indir says:

    I almost caught you today, you came back within a few minutes of your 1 hour break. nice work!

  26. What did you get done in those 12 hrs might I ask?

  27. nakliye says:

    Great idea! I am sure after awhile you probably forgot you were even on camera!

  28. Sucks i missed it, it would be pretty cool to see you live.

  29. It’s a great thought to take a break between your hectic works! Thank you!

  30. Cool experiment!..


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