MindCORE Writing Room

The MindCORE Writing Room offers our faculty and affiliates dedicated space, time, and structure for high-productivity work.

Inspired by the Graduate Student Center’s Dissertation Bootcamp, the MindCORE Writing Room utilizes behavioral change research done by Angela Duckworth, Katherine Milkman, and others to facilitate a space of accountability for long-term writing and work projects.


The Structure


For each month-long session, the MindCORE Writing Room will be open one day a week from 8am-1pm with coffee, drinks, and light snacks. Participants may sign up for one or multiple monthly sessions; however, you must commit to attending all four days of each monthly session to sign up.

The core hours for each day are 9am-12pm, with additional times at 8-9am and 12-1pm for optional use. Each participant will be asked to sign a Commitment Contract pledging to attend their chosen dates as well as choose from the commitment devices provided. The rules of the space include no cell phones, no social media, and no talking beyond low volumes when necessary.


Spring 2020 Sessions: Thursdays

SESSION 1: January 9th – 30th

SESSION 2: February 6th – 27th

SESSION 3: March 5th – 26th

SESSION 4: April 2nd – 23rd


Register HERE!

The deadline to sign up for Session 2 will be Friday January 31st.


The Research


Recent findings suggest “situational strategies” for self-control (in which a person changes their environment or circumstances to better focus on their goals) are generally more successful than solely relying on oneself to resist temptation.1 The MindCORE Writing Room offers the chance to change the situation by providing a quiet workspace free from outside distractions.

The presence of other people has also been found to decrease the likelihood of giving into temptations that conflict with personal goals.2 Therefore, the Writing Room provides a community of other individuals with similar productivity goals.

Additionally, the Writing Room offers structure for three research-backed commitment devices (optional):

  • Goal Planning: Creating mental representations of what you would like to accomplish and making a plan for implementation intentions (forming “if, then” statements to plan the steps you’ll take to achieve your goal).3 You will then receive reminders of the plans you’ve made to support follow-though with goals.4
  • Monetary Pledge: A money deposit to be returned only upon the completion of the goal as a self-imposed punishment.3,5
  • Partnering: Partnering with another for progress check-ins to utilize social pressure for increased motivation.6

To add the dates for each session to your calendar, click the following links: Session 1; Session 2Session 3; Session 4



  1. Duckworth, A. L., Gendler, T. S., & Gross, J. J. (2016). Situational Strategies for Self-Control. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(1), 35-55. doi:10.1177/1745691615623247
  2. Hofmann, W., Vohs, K., Forster, G., & Baumeister, R. (2011). Everyday temptations: An experience sampling study on how people control their desires. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e634112013-146
  3. Duckworth, A. L., Milkman, K. L., & Laibson, D. (2018). Beyond Willpower: Strategies for Reducing Failures of Self-Control. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19(3), 102-129. doi:10.1177/1529100618821893
  4. Karlan, D., Mcconnell, M., Mullainathan, S., & Zinman, J. (2010). Getting to the Top of Mind: How Reminders Increase Saving. doi:10.3386/w16205
  5. Bryan, G., Karlan, D., & Nelson, S. (2010). Commitment Devices. Annual Review of Economics, 2(1), 671-698. doi:10.1146/annurev.economics.102308.124324
  6. Rogers, T., Milkman, K. L., & Volpp, K. G. (2014). Commitment Devices. Jama, 311(20), 2065. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3485
Skip to toolbar