A reader proposes a commitment device for seeing a doctor

From David Hagmann:

I found that when it came time to schedule a doctor’s appointment, I’d continuously delay making the call. I’d promise myself to call right after lunch, then in just another hour and before I knew it, the day was over. Fortunately, I’m not the only one with that problem, so here’s the commitment technique I’m using: I made an agreement to share with a friend when I need an appointment, and he shares this with me. Then we just schedule the appointments for each other.

Since I’m not experiencing the uncomfortable doctor’s visit I’m scheduling, I don’t have the urge to try and delay it. With Google Calendar it’s easy to know the other person’s schedule and find a time that works for him. For some reason, making the phone call for an appointment is a bigger barrier to action than sending an e-mail… maybe there’s a lesson in it for doctor’s out there.


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