The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don't Follow Through on Things
It refers to our tendency to choose immediate rewards over future rewards. It's why we make plans, but don't take action.
When we make plans, we are actually making plans for our future selves. But when the time comes to make a decision, we are in the moment and our brain is thinking about the present self.
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Akrasia happens when you do one thing even though you know you should do something else.
It's what prevents you from following through on what you set out to do. It could be translated into procrastination or a lack of self-control.
The ability to delay gratification is a great predictor of success in life.
If you really understand how to resist the attraction of instant gratification, you'll be able to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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Resistance towards what can help us progress is something human beings are experiencing for centuries. Philosophers call this extremely active and relentless force Akrasia...
Akrasia is an emotional management problem keeping us from having a better future. It will make up any story to keep us away from something good. It will always prefer instant gratification, harming us in the long run, rather than doing something valuable that can help us in a positive way.
The side effects of Akrasia are stress, guilt, resentment, and missed opportunities.
While the much-hyped motivation and willpower have little effect against Akrasia, mindfulness meditation has the power to refocus your actions, and stop the mindless time-wasting.
Mindfulness acts as a foundation for conquering procrastination. We need to proactively take control of our feelings and act towards our goals, something which is possible only with a mind sharpened with mindfulness.
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According to traditional thinking, procrastinators have a time-management problem. They are unable to understand how long a task will take and need to learn how to schedule their time better.
Studies show low mood only increases procrastination if enjoyable activities are available as a distraction. In other words, we're drawn to other activities to avoid the discomfort of applying ourselves.
Procrastination leads to two primary consequences.
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Procrastination is fundamentally an emotional reaction to what you have to do. The more aversive a task is to you, the more you’ll resist it, and the more likely you are to procrastinate.
When you notice yourself procrastinating, use your procrastination as a trigger to examine a task’s characteristics and think about what you should change.
By breaking down exactly which attributes an aversive task has (boring, frustrating, difficult, meaningless, ambiguous, unstructured), you can take those qualities and turn them around to make the task more appealing to you.
... people have when they procrastinate:
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