“Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, virtue is doing it.”-David Starr Jordan

We know that we delay our tasks and not finish what we start. But how many times have you given it a thought that why we do it? Here are two research which explains it !

1. Time Inconsistency

The answer lies in a behavioral psychology research. Which revealed a phenomenon called “Time Inconsistency,” that explains, why procrastination seems to pull us in, despite our good intentions.

[cws_sc_mark font_color=’#000000′ bg_color=’#fcfcfc’]“Time inconsistency refers to the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards.”[/cws_sc_mark]

The best way to understand this is by imagining that you have two selves: Present Self and Future Self. When you set personal goals for yourself like scoring 90% in your exams, losing weight or learning a language, you are actually making plans for your Future Self.

You are imagining what you want your life to be like in the future. However, while the Future Self can set goals, only the Present Self can take action. When the time comes to take action you no longer want to work because the present self is not getting anything immediately. So, the Present Self and the Future Self are often at odds with one another.

  • The Future Self wants to be slim and fit, but the Present Self wants a burger.
  •  You might go to bed feeling motivated to make a change in your life, but when you wake up you find yourself falling back into old patterns.

[cws_sc_mark font_color=’#000000′ bg_color=’#fcfcfc’]“To stop procrastinating, you have to find a balance between immediate results and long term payoffs” [/cws_sc_mark]

As your brain values long-term benefits when they are in the future (tomorrow), but it values immediate gratification when it comes to the present moment (today).

2. Motivation often comes after starting, not before.

Imagine that you are given an assignment which needs to be completed in a week. You know that it’s pending but still do not take any action regarding it. Suddenly, you realize the pressure and anxiety to complete the assignment one day prior to the deadline. That is when you take action.

[cws_sc_mark font_color=’#000000′ bg_color=’#fcfcfc’]”We postpone our tasks because we think that taking action is painful, but once you start doing something the pain subsides.”[/cws_sc_mark]

Point A on the chart above is often more distressing than Point B. The guilt, shame, and anxiety that you feel while procrastinating are usually worse than the effort and energy you have to put in while you’re working. The problem is not doing the work, it’s starting the work.

[cws_sc_mark font_color=’#000000′ bg_color=’#fcfcfc’]“If we want to stop procrastinating, then we need to make it as easy as possible for the Present Self to get started and trust that motivation and momentum will come after we begin.”[/cws_sc_mark]

Next Step

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