Jekyll2021-04-20T20:23:14+00:00https://www.satch.me/feed.xmlSatchel’s LabI work on fun things. Satchel Frenchfrenchsatchel@gmail.comUseful Behavioral Friction2021-04-18T00:00:00+00:002021-04-18T00:00:00+00:00https://www.satch.me/2021/04/18/useful-friction<hr /> <p><br /> Friction is a fundamental feature of our universe, dictating how much work is required to move an object in a given direction.</p> <p>I’m interested in the idea of behavioral friction; how easy or difficult it is to fall into a given behavior.</p> $F = \mu m a$ <ul> <li><strong>Friction has three components:</strong> <ol> <li>$$m$$ is the mass of behavior, in other words – how large is the task?</li> <li>$$a$$ is the acceleration, or how much momentum and work are you putting into this?</li> <li>$$\mu$$ is the coefficient of friction, which quantifies how your environment is impacting the amount of friction.</li> </ol> </li> <li><strong>Vices typically have very low friction, (very low $$\mu$$, small $$m$$ and can have lots of acceleration $$a$$).</strong> <ul> <li>i.e. Watching Television - small $$\mu$$: television remote is within reach, one button press from away - small $$m$$: It’s not some large task, its sitting down watching tv - large $$a$$: If you’ve built the habit of bingeing shows, or watching sports, you have a lot of momentum going into this.</li> <li>Can apply to things like: Video games, eating snacks from the fridge.</li> <li><em>In other words, the force required to accelerate the behaviour is very small and thus easy.</em></li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Aspirations typically have very high friction (high $$\mu$$, large $$m$$ and low $$a$$)</strong> <ul> <li>i.e. Run a marathon <ul> <li>large $$\mu$$, what trigger are there to encourage you to run when you’re at home? ($$\mu$$ is large by default)</li> <li>large $$m$$ – the task is too large to move in one move (needs to be smaller)</li> <li>small $$a$$ –– if you’re already not running often, there isn’t much wind at your back, and it requires a fair bit of work to start</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> <li> <p><strong>Friction can however be used to anyone’s advantage</strong>, you simply want to <strong>add friction</strong> to <strong>undesirable behaviors</strong> and <strong>reduce friction</strong> between <strong>desired behaviors</strong>.</p> <ul> <li>i.e. Reducing Television Watch Time <ul> <li>increase $$\mu$$, move the TV remote to a distance corner of your home, unplug the television, get a cabinet to cover it and remove the trigger.</li> <li>increase $$m$$, make watching TV a larger task – for example you have to watch 1 hour of lecture before you allow yourself any television.</li> <li>reduce $$a$$, try to quit watching TV for one week, avoid binge-ing content. This will slow your momentum.</li> </ul> </li> <li>i.e. Start Running a Marathon <ul> <li>increase $$\mu$$, put your running shoes and exercise clothes by the front door as a trigger. Add running posters or posted notes around the house to remind yourself</li> <li>reduce $$m$$, a marathon is a big goal, maybe start with something approachable like 10 minutes of running at a comfortable pace for a week.</li> <li>increase $$a$$ – create momentum, going a running club, create accountability, try to make it a habit. <br /> <br /> I think this is a fun way to think about how one might go about changing a behaviour, just remember — it’s basic physics.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul>Satchel FrenchFriction is a fundamental feature of our universe, dictating how much work is required to move an object in a given direction.