Ask Ariely: On Putting off Procrastination, Selling Sherlock, and Feeling the DICE

Interesting anecdote here about Skinner’s discipline as a writer, but what happens if you follow a similar approach — e.g., setting strict rules such as writing from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. every morning — and you find, to your dismay, that your ideas feel no obligation to follow your rules? What if the words simply don’t materialize on command? Can you really write or love or to create anything in accordance with any schedule at all? I believe you can, but the language of commanding yourself to commit to rules and schedules won’t work for everybody. You may do better if you simply honor and love your inner self instead of beating it into submission. For some people, self-intimacy is truer path than self-control.