Harford_Cropped_bigger-2Hyperbolic Discounting is one of those names for a Behavioural Economics bias that can put most people off reading further, just because it sounds so technical.

However, Tim Harford (always worth a read, or listen on Radio 4) has done us all a favour by applying the theory to the very practical problem which we all share – getting round to those jobs we said we’ll┬ádo tomorrow.

It’s a well written article and one with a number of practical suggestions for practicing overcoming┬áthis irrational bias. Some only require a pen and paper, as well as remembering to put in some planning time the night before:

However, the best discovery in this article for me was of an app called Timeful. This has already been launched for the iPhone. It is basically a time management tool in which you enter everything you want to get done. OK, you might be thinking, so what – there are tons of apps for that. However, this one has been designed to help you overcome your hyperbolic discounting tendency. It will provisionally schedule in your diary good times for getting round to those jobs, and as unexpected things happen or priorities change, it will adapt. It basically learns about you, how you manage your time, and will be an advisor to still hold you accountable to times when you should be getting round to your priorities.

Sounds great to me – so I’m off to download it onto my iPhone and give it a try. I will report back on progress, please share below if you have tried it already.