43 Folders

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Can we learn from the proximate candy jar?

Science tackles candy nibbling: clear containers close by get patronized more often than opaque containers a bit further away.

Secretaries ate an average of 7.7 kisses each day when the candies were in clear containers on their desks; 4.6 when in opaque jars on the desk; 5.6 when in clear jars 6 feet away; and 3.1 when in opaque jars 6 feet away...

"Here's the golden lining: If we move food away from us, even 6 feet, we eat less and we overestimate how much we have eaten," the researchers concluded. "It may also work for healthier foods, such as raw fruits or vegetables. What makes the candy dish nutritionally dangerous might bring the fruit bowl back in vogue."

Sure, no duh, right? Put candy out and people eat it. Big whup. Well, maybe. But try processing this from a slightly different angle.

I'm no white-coat researcher, but I wonder if this partially confirms what a lot of us have suspected all along--that the things we put into our sight line and within our easy reach get the highest attention, interest, and usage (cf. sticky notes, photos, and labeler in my case).

While we can and do go "blind" to anything after repeated exposures, I like that I might be able to use this "candy jar" principal (inversely) to try and build a good habit or just keep something important on my radar screen.

Like my friend Maggie says, you are what you frequently do; and, I suspect, you internalize what you frequently view. (Especially if it's candy.)

[ via Boing Boing/Pesco ]

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About Merlin

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Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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