So Why Do We Procrastinate

So Why Do We Procrastinate?

3 MinutesIn Blog

QUITE simply, we humans are terrible at making good decisions, particularly when it comes to the future.

We are not wired to prioritise our welfare in the future over our satisfaction now.

Ask yourself – is saving money for a rainy day a good thing? Bet you answered yes.

Now ask yourself – do you do it? Probably not as many positive responses to this one. And for those smugger ones amongst us who do stash the cash away, do you save enough? No, I did not think so.

But why don’t we save? The logic is compelling. Money saved now gives us a safety net should something go wrong, and gives us an income for our old age. And the earlier we start saving, the more the money will grow.

We all know this, and this blog is not a personal finance lesson.

The problem is, that holiday we could take now, that new phone we really like the look of today, or that meal out with friends tonight all seem far more tempting to us right now than knowing we can pay the gas bill when we are in our seventies.

Our appreciation of the future benefit we will gain is simply obliterated by the sense of immediate gratification and sating of our desires right now.

And exactly the same principle applies to our time.

We just would rather spend the time now on something we perceive as more pleasurable than just getting on and doing the task we know we need to do.

The hour we will undoubtedly end up spending on the job in the end is less valuable to us when it is a vague concept to take place tomorrow, or next week, than the hour we are in right now.

There are good reasons for this hard-wired into our DNA – the animal that is still at our centre did not know if the future was certain, let alone a future a long time from now. They did not know food would just be in the fridge waiting for them, or that tonight would be a warm and dry night.

So our ancestors ate when they could and slept when they could – they needed to as they did not know when or where the next meal was coming from.

Okay, so procrastination may be a powerful force within us – but we do have the power to overcome it.

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