Self-control is hard. People tend to go for "smaller-sooner" benefits over "larger-later" rewards. Economists call this "hyperbolic discounting." You call it "I'll go to the gym next Tuesday." Nothing encapsulates procrastination better than snoozing your alarm for 30 minutes because it's easier to lie in bed than think about the costs of starting work late.
But here's an economic punishment that will wake you up in the morning: An alarm clock that shreds a dollar bill if you don't smack it in the first few seconds.
Utter genius. And actually in keeping with most research on how to pull forward the punishment from delayed costs!
Now, you might not wake up every morning thinking about hyperbolic discounting. Lucky you. But for the sleep-deprived economist in your life, this is the gift that says: "Wake the &*$# up and put your money where current hyperbolic discounting research is."
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