Jeff Ely over at the excellent Cheap Talk writes about his attempt to fool himself into being punctual:
I once tried setting my watch ahead a few minutes to help me make it to appointments on time. At first it worked, but not because I was fooled. I would glance at the watch, get worried that I was late, then remember that the watch is fast. But that brief flash acted as a sort of preview of how it feels to be late. And the feeling is a better motivator than the thought in the abstract.
But that didn’t last very long. The surprise wore off. I wonder if there are ways to maintain the surprise. For example, instead of setting the watch a fixed time ahead, I could set it to run too fast so that it gained an extra minute every week or month. Then if I have adaptive expectations I could consistently fool myself.
This reminded me of an older post of mine that discussed the potential for a “novelty curve” with various nudge strategies. It was in relation to the Volkswagen-sponsored Fun Theory project. Here is what I wrote: Continue reading