About RioFolio

Introduction

Hi, my name is Mas, the creator of RioFolio.

Now, I could write some faceless About page praising the system plus some mission statements or something...but I never really liked those, so I thought I'd try something different.

So, let me tell a few stories about how it helped me, in the hopes that you would get some ideas on how it would help you.

Note that I started with pen, paper and coin flips (yep). I thought maybe this system could benefit others so that's one of the reasons why I built RioFolio.com which is a more streamlined version.

Software Consulting

You see, I did software consulting for businesses, which means I built internal software that increase profits, usually resource planning. I wasn't really interested in it, so I would find ways to motivate myself to work.

What I did was, instead of having large to-do lists, I had a few general outlines. For each small task I completed, I wrote it down and reward myself with points (Credits in RioFolio). Threw those away though, wish I kept them - that's why one of RioFolio's core feature is Journals.

After a few tasks, I would have enough points to 'buy' (Redeem in RioFolio) myself, for example, 1 episode of Adventure Time. To keep it from being monotonous, I would do two coin flips - each head means 1 more episode. After that, back to work. Rinse and repeat.

Controlling Social Anxiety

Personally, the system (pen, paper and coin back then) helped me with controlling my crippling social anxiety, which was a very huge milestone for me. I couldn't even talk to people at one point (had to write on a notepad, tear the page and hand it to them).

So one of my goals was to reduce my panicking when trying talk to strangers. The thing is, that was a large goal for me. To-do lists or schedules in this case wouldn't actually do me any good since I would just cower away anyway.

Instead, what I did was, every time I tried to walk to a stranger and strike a conversation, even if it didn't go well, I would reward myself with points. Summoning the courage to try is what I call a Small Win.

One thing I noticed was that after every few small wins, one unexpected good outcome would happen. If a good outcome happened, I would multiply my points (using coin flips again). I call this Achievement in RioFolio.

For example, seemingly out of the blue, my fear of talking to strangers went way down (in reality, it was reduced bit by bit with small wins). Another example would be getting an interested prospective client during a cold call.

Teaching Myself Guitar + Songwriting

I have always been a big fan of music. It's amazing how these vibrations, built up by the same building blocks (sound pitches), arranged in different ways, can affect your mood differently.

Anyway, learning the guitar, especially in the very beginning, is hard. There is this huge gap between what you want to be able to play and what your physical body allows you to play. The gap is narrowed over time by the unpleasant act of practicing over and over.

So, as you might have guessed, practice = give myself points, yadda yadda yadda. The same with songwriting (this is more about controlling the ego, resist putting technical parts that don't fit).

In A Nutshell

I have used this system for years to great effect, mostly to power myself through boring or unpleasant tasks. Later I learned this type of system is called gamification. Along the way, it slowly turned into a cue-action-reward loop mentioned in the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

I have no problem admitting that this is not something new. Even though I did think of it by myself, a lot of people already have systems similar to this. In fact, I got the idea from role-playing video games.

PS

This is not a replacement for self-control, just something that helps strengthen your self-control. So yeah, sorry, it's not a magic pill.

With all that being said, I hope RioFolio helps you in life, career, business, etc. Especially with your struggles.