True Procrastination-Buster

This is a story I read a while ago and got reminded of it recently when reflecting on the activities that kids have completed over the last few weeks. First the story.

Several years ago, Ford Motor Company struggled to find the best way to get car owners back into the dealerships for routine automobile maintenance. The problem was that the standard Ford automobile had something like 18,000 parts that might need servicing, and unfortunately, they didn’t all need servicing at the same time (one Ford engineer determined that a particular axle bolt needed inspection every 3,602 miles). And this was just part of the problem: since Ford had more than 20 vehicle types, plus various model years, the servicing of them all was nearly impossible to ponder. All that consumers, as well as service advisers, could do was page through volumes of thick manuals in order to determine what services were needed.

But Ford began to notice something over at the Honda dealerships. Even though the 18,000 or so parts in Honda cars had the same ideal maintenance schedules as the Ford cars, Honda had lumped them all into three engineering intervals (for instance, every six months or 5,000 miles, every year or 10,000 miles, and every two years or 25,000 miles). This list was displayed on the wall of the reception room in the service department. All the hundreds of service activities were boiled down to simple, mileage-based service events that were common across all vehicles and model years. The board had every maintenance service activity bundled, sequenced, and priced. Anyone could see when service was due and how much it would cost.

But the bundle board was more than convenient information: It was a true procrastination-buster, as it instructed customers to get their service done at specific times and mileages. It guided them along. And it was so simple that any customer could understand it. Customers were no longer confused.

From the book Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

The small change that we did in our family was giving kids a little diary where they record their activities. This simple one page-a-diary and daily discipline of noting down the daily activities at the end of dinner.

This simple setup guides their day. Have seen the same effect in my own life.

Faltering on your resolutions, start tracking them daily even if you fail.

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