I've cultivated a habit of following to the letter any deliberate precommitments I make to myself, because it seemed like a useful sort of habit, and I haven't failed yet. I might even choose to make that part of my identity in time...

With that already in place for a few months, over the last few weeks I've noticed that I have woken (and stayed) up in time iff I went to sleep in time (about half the time) or used the precommitment of, freely translated, "When I next wake up, if I notice that my ringing mobile phone has the piece of duct tape stuck to it that I put there to trigger the memory of this precommitment, and remember this precommitment, I will not touch my mattress after turning it off for the following 10 minutes." (about half of the remaining times)

You see, my morning self doesn't actually want to sleep in, it just apparently hasn't internalized induction on enough of a gut level to draw the connection between going back to bed and falling back asleep. What it does understand, is the connection between touching that mattress and tarnishing that record.

Edit: It now occurs to me that it might be a nonobvious warning that you carefully start with lesser precommitments, lest you ruin this forever for yourself by having an akrasia'd self not care enough about the habit. Your reach exceeds your grasp by default on this one.

Edit: Shit, I actually just went back to bed after those 10 minutes. Gonna have to modify that...

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

by Gondolinian 1 min read15th Dec 2014309 comments


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