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The Akrasia Effect: How to Overcome Your Resistance Brain

Immediate Payoff

When we learn to delay the gratification that we seek instantly, we see a macro view of our life and can visualize where we stand, and where we want to be.

Our brain will continuously sabotage our efforts, but if we push past the resistance intentionally, we find that it was just a paper wall, which we can easily overcome.

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The Akrasia Effect: How to Overcome Your Resistance Brain

The Akrasia Effect: How to Overcome Your Resistance Brain

https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-akrasia-effect-how-to-overcome-your-resistance-brain-5086cfd3fc90

medium.com

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Key Ideas

The Akrasia Effect

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 the barrier between you and a better version of you. When we set plans, deadlines and commit towards a goal(like planning to wake up at 5 am), it is Akrasia that prevents us from following through.

Akrasia And Emotional Management

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.

Approaching Akrasia With Mindfulness

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.

Listen To Your Body

When we listen to our bodies and find out how it behaves on a daily basis, we come to know its peak periods along with the periods of lull, which help us organize our tasks and activities in better alignment with the body.

Immediate Payoff

When we learn to delay the gratification that we seek instantly, we see a macro view of our life and can visualize where we stand, and where we want to be.

Our brain will continuously sabotage our efforts, but if we push past the resistance intentionally, we find that it was just a paper wall, which we can easily overcome.

Just Get Started

According to author James Clear, getting started reduces the friction and sets you up for further accomplishments. Without worrying about results, we simply need to focus on making a regular effort and getting started on it no matter what.

Example: Not exercising is less likely once we are at the gym, but is more likely if we are still in bed.

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Look over your to-do list and assign every task a value, such as a dollar-per-hour amount that you might have to pay someone else to do it. Score tasks from $10 per hour for administrative tasks up to $10,000 per hour for high-level strategy and sales-related tasks.

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Akrasia happens when you do one thing even though you know you should do something else.

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Time Inconsistency

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.

Delayed Gratification and Success

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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Progress on our goals feeds our well-being. So the most important thing to do is bootstrap a little progress: get a little progress, and that’s going to fuel your well-being and your motivation.

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This is a self-regulatory strategy in the form of an "if-then plan": "If the phone rings, then I’m not going to answer it." "If my friends call me to say we’re going out, I’m going to say no." So you’ve already made these pre-commitments.

Why you procrastinate

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Make a task less aversive

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.

Unproductive responses

... people have when they procrastinate:

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  • Denying responsibility to distance yourself from what you have to do
  • Seeking out new information that supports your procrastination.

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Complete tasks in batches

It takes time to get into a rhythm to work on a task. Instead of constantly starting and stopping that process, it’s better to keep your rhythm going by bundling similar tasks together.

By doing this, you avoid interruptions and prevents himself from procrastinating.

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We have two ways of dealing with our procrastination:

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Make getting started ridiculously easy

Often starting a task is the biggest hurdle. Research shows that progress—no matter how small—can be a huge motivator to help us keep going.

Set the timer for just 5 or 10 minutes. While the timer’s running, you don’t have to work, but you can’t do anything else. You have to sit with your work, even if you don’t get started.

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Effects of music on productivity
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Commit to Your Health

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