End Procrastination: Why do we procrastinate?

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Procrastination is a challenge we all have faced in our lives at one point or the other. It is the act of postponing or delaying a task or set of tasks. This problem is timeless. We as humans have a tendency to postpone or delay tasks that matter to us. It is the habit of avoiding things at the time they should be done. The important question that here arises is – why do we actually procrastinate? There is a phenomenon in behavioral psychology which is called “time inconsistency”. Time inconsistency refers to the propensity of the human brain to appraise instant rewards more highly than future rewards. This can be best explained in terms of present self and future self. The goals we set today are all meant for our future self. For example- studying, we study so that we can have a bright future. We set up goals to be achieved today, for a better tomorrow. Our future self looks at long term awards. But anything that should be done for the future, has to be done in the present moment by the present self. And the present self looks forward to instant gratification. Therefore in the given example, the future self knows that I need to study for the future but the present self looks for instant gratification in using social media or watching television. Hence we procrastinate.

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