Data analysis code for CHI 2019 paper: "Conservation of Procrastination: Do Productivity Interventions Save Time or Just Redistribute It?"
Productivity behavior change systems help us reduce our time on unproductive activities. However, is that time actually saved, or is it just redirected to other unproductive activities? We report an experiment using HabitLab, a behavior change browser extension and phone application, that manipulated the frequency of interventions on a focal goal and measured the effects on time spent on other applications and platforms. We find that, when intervention frequency increases on the focal goal, time spent on other applications is held constant or even reduced. Likewise, we find that time is not redistributed across platforms from browser to mobile phone or vice versa. These results suggest that any conservation of procrastination effect is minimal, and that behavior change designers may target individual productivity goals without causing substantial negative second-order effects.
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