Tricks you use(d) that don't work

A pal and I got to talking about the trick that everyone has tried at least once in life, even though it’s entirely futile: the one where you set your clock ahead X minutes in an effort to be early for things. This doesn’t work. You *always *end up figuring out what the actual time is before long. I’m also sure everyone has had the conversation when transporting folks in your car where they go, “Holy shit! We’re going to be late,” then you say, “Nah, that clock is like 15 minutes fast.” Once in college, I even had my roommate set the clock some arbitrary amount of minutes while I was out of the room, so I would have no idea when she changed it, or by how much. This worked for almost two months, but only because I was so painstaking in making sure I didn’t know what the actual time was. A lot of it was a game with myself to see how long I could make it last. If I ever caught a glimpse of the time on my comp, I’d deliberately avoid looking at the room clock for long enough for me to completely lose track of time.

Here’s another stupid trick I play that’s pointless. I keep my telephone behind me at work, under the theory that if I look at the phone while it’s ringing, the Caller ID will tempt me to screen my calls. With my phone behind me, I’ll just pick it up when it rings, no matter who it is. Doesn’t work. If I’m in one of those moods where whether or not I answer depends on who it is, I will turn around and look, so my calls end up being screened anyway. I don’t even have to get up, or walk over to it. I just swivel my chair and glance behind me.

My friend said one of her tricks to get her to eat less is to eat on a smaller plate, which doesn’t work, because if she’s done eating and wants more food, she’ll just go back and put more food on the small plate.

We should really stop doing stupid crap like this, because it’s a complete waste, and yet… Your turn.

Try hiding things from yourself.
Until I have Alzheimer’s, it ain’t workin’!!

I don’t buy chips or sweets at the grocery store. If it’s not in my kitchen, then I can’t eat that crap.

Unfortunately, that sometimes leads to late night trips to the 7/11. If I ever get mugged & murdered I’d hate for it to be because of a Twinkie. :wink:

If I have a decision I’m having a hard time making to the point where I find myself wasting too much time on it, I say “Ok, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll flip a coin and then I’ll unhesitatingly allow the coin to decree the decision, no further debate”.

It seems so close to being able to work…

Don’t worry aceplace. By the time you’re murdered, I’ll have Alzheimer’s. Since I won’t remember it, it never happened.

That’s stupid, Indi.
Use dice.

Ha! That actually works with me, but that’s because by the time I figured I’ve wasted too much energy and time, I really don’t care anymore. This doesn’t work in groups, because while people try to convince me (and perhaps themselves) that the choice makes no difference, deep down and/or secretly they have a preference, so they end up arguing with the coin. Some weeks ago my friend and I were at an intersection with two bars on either side, and couldn’t decide which to go to. We did a quick run down of the pros and cons, when then turned into a long run down. I said, “I’ll just flip a coin,” which she *said *she was okay with, but once the coin decided, she found reasons to object. I ended up saying “Just tell me what to do” because I was sick of thinking about it.

I find this works better if you don’t try to force the decision onto the coin itself, but allow the coin instead to clarify your thoughts.

The way I do it is if I’m indecisive, I flip a coin. Heads do A, tails do B. If the coin lands on tails and my immediate reaction is “well, let’s do two out of three,” then I know I really wanted to choose A and I go with that. Works pretty well.

I’ve heard that before, but it’s usually not the case that what happens is “Oh, the coin came up B? Well, I really wanted A. Let’s try again.” What happens is “Oh, the coin came up B? Hm. I don’t know, though. I’m still not convinced. I still kinda think maybe I should do A. Heh, that’s a sign, right? That I really want to do A? Ok, A it is. Wait, am I about to do A? Let’s not be rash. I mean, consider such and such and so on. I kinda want to do B. Oh, that’s a sign too, huh? Hm, I better keep thinking about the pros and cons. No, wait, I’ve wasted too much time on this. Oh, I know what to do: I’ll flip a coin! Wait…”

If you set the clock forward Indi you’ll have *plenty *of time.

Well there’s your problem. :slight_smile:

Holding my nose and drinking a glass of water has never cured my hic-ups.

When I was single, out of shape, and overweight I was told that the trick to finding a girlfriend was to be yourself and charm them with your wit and personality.
Ha! All that got me was a lot of girls who wanted to be ‘just friends’. Lost 30 pounds and got a gym membership. Then the charm and wit magically started working.

Have you seen this? It’s a clock that can be 0-15 minutes fast. I’ll bet it will stop working after awhile.

That plate thing does have research behind it, that doesn’t mean that it works for everybody, but most people.

Love that clock! I’d probably just always work from the assumption that it was 15 minutes ahead of time, which I guess mean it worked.

The plate thing makes some sense if you’re not really that hungry. I think many people have been conditioned to eat everything on their plate, so they will, regardless of the size of the plate. If you If you’ve eaten everything on a plate and are full, regardless of the plate size, you will stop eating. The difference will be the amount of food you’ve taken in once you’re done. If you’re still hungry, you’ll likely go back and refill the plate, then eat everything on it, and the same would apply. So in the long run, I guess it should help to eat from a smaller plate.

Now switching to smaller plates!

Telling that always late person that the event starts at 1 when it really starts at 2. Oh, it works a couple of times, but then they catch on and they get there at 2:45 anyhow.

Only thing that works is really starting on time and not waiting for them. Then they’re upset that they missed things, and are generally on time (or at least less late) next time. But it’s hard to get everyone else on board with that plan.

^^^ Yes. I do this with my sister, The Least Punctual Person on Planet Earth. She’d show up t a 2:00 event at 2:45 if we were all lucky. She would seriously show up at like 4:00. I wish I were kidding. She’s now realized that she can add 90 minutes to the start time I give her, which means she can show up 90 minutes after that.

A gal can’t win!

Rounding my checking account withdrawals up and my deposits down (i.e. $14.31 purchase is entered as $15, $68.66 deposit is entered as $68.) For a little while, it gives me a little cushion in the account, just in case I screw up the math or hope that a deposit hits the bank before an outstanding check. Works only until I check my account on-line before paying the electric, cable, or phone bill.

I used to have a friend who would show up HOURS late. I’d tell him something woudl start at 7 and he’d show up at 10. One time there was something he really wanted to go to and, being wise to this, I told him to show up 4 hours before we actually had to leave… apparently he didn’t even start getting ready until more than an hour after he was supposed to meet us, and I know that because I called and bugged him several times in the process.

In either case, I found it’s easier just to be honest about the time and let people decide whether or not they want to be on time. Of course, I live by that too and other people get pissed off when I show up late to something I’m not terribly enthusiastic about… oh well.

For the clock thing, I’ve found that it sort of works for me to have different clocks set fast at different intervals. Sure, if I think about it, I know roughly how far ahead different clocks are, but not making it the same amount for all my clocks makes that extra step a little easier to avoid. Of course, this only works if you actually use multiple clocks on a regular basis.
I also liked the coin idea when I first heard it and have mostly worked it to a point where I can skip the step of flipping the coin and just make a decision more aware of the subtler preferences I have.

I’m missing something. Why is screening your calls something you think you should avoid?

People are calling me because they need to know something. I don’t think it’s a good idea to deliberately avoid answering because the person annoys me, and I don’t feel like talking to them.