The Don't Quit Podcast

The Importance of Just Starting

At the time of saying this I’m 90% done with book about starting and productivity. It’s a working title at the moment and I wish to share what I’m learning from it.

Every time I open my One Step Journal, It’s a reminder of all the projects I still haven’t started yet. It’s the passion projects that I don’t have time for. I don’t even know if I will ever have time for them.

It reminds me of that time I read about a nurse who took care of people in their final days. The most said regret they said to her was not going after their dreams as the highest priority.

When people know their time is limited they are now able to look back on things with more hindsight. Most didn’t even achieve half what they wanted and were force to go knowing they won’t ever happen.

The nurse says, “Every day we choose how we spend the amount of hours we’re given. Most often just comes down to procrastination and fear of just starting.”

Apparently 95% of the American population all deal with procrastination even myself. While time management can go only so far, it’s the why we fail to start in psychological and emotional reasons.

Do Something Your Future Self Will Thank You For

Procrastination is more than just putting off something to a later date. It’s knowing there will be negative consequences in the future due to the procrastination.

We’re not just being careless. It’s purposely sabotaging your future with a short term pleasure rather than a long term benefiting one. So much studies say that procrastination leads to so many mental problems such as anxiety, depression, and outlook on life.

Dr. Piers Steel, an organizational behavior professor at the University of Calgary, has created a formula that allows one to know when you’re procrastinating.

Motivation is the drive for action that all requires for the will of action. It’s what economists call utility. At the vert top of the formula, anticipation is the odds of all outcome coming from choices. While value refers to how the reward will be spent.

Underneath, impulsiveness is your sensitivity to delays (how easily you get distracted) and delay is how long you have to wait to receive the reward.

So with all the choices coming down to expectation of a positive outcome vs how long it will actually take. Sounds easy, right? We weigh the value for the amount of given effort that’s going to be used. But what happens when our view of the value isn’t exact?

Dr. Fuschia Sirois, a psychology professor at the University of Sheffield, England, has called this “temporal myopia,” or the inability to see into your future.

There’s different ways we see the future - It can be through planning and plotting goals, or positive affirmations. With procrastination, it becomes blurry. It then becomes more undefined and impersonal. There is a lack of personal and emotional connection with who they are and who they will be.

Another problem is time inconsistency is which said from behavioral economists. It’s the brain’s reason of valuing immediate rewards than those that are in the future. Add it all up and it’s no wonder poor decisions are made with not a whole lot of rewards.

Motivation in tasks start when we see value in it. Yet we place the value on what is currently happening of the present rather than justifying who and where we will be in the future.

This why you go to bed wishing for change and then waking up with the exact same problem.

Learning to Diet in a Candy Store

The world we live in actually against this ideology and only furthers the problems we have.
In Dr. Steel’s research he equates our day-to-day lives as trying to diet in a candy store and then being blamed for getting fat. We’re being herded towards a place of consumption over and over. And consumption trumps creation.

Every day products are compelled to how you used them. Products are now being made in impulsive consideration with surprise deals. They are designed to make you want to use them every day.

It has now been a survival of how you use things such as your phone or internet.

Present you: 1. Future you: 0.

The ancient philosophers Socrates and Aristotle invented the word: Akrasia. Which is the weak willed unable to see the long benefits of their labor. This is shown in binge watching tv or reading a book.

We essentially are delaying gratification is a big reason for any kind of failure. Success takes work. Sometimes there’s no promise of a reward. Yet the world wants us to have an reward even if we didn’t deserve it.

Look forward to my book as I expand on this and cover a lot more topics in a couple of weeks.

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