procrastination

18Jan07

The Marginal Revolution has a good link to an article about the psychology of procrastination.

The most salient quotation for non-exercisers in this article is this:-

Fifty per cent of heart attack patients don’t manage to make the lifestyle changes that could save their lives.”

I know what that feels like. It took a major wrench to wake me up and determine I needed to save a few more heart beats for when I might need them much later. The problem is you never know how much time you have.

This fits quite neatly into an area of study that ties the marathon and the concept of delayed gratification together with other ways we tend to favour the short term in the choices we make:-

“Over the years, psychologists have come up with a lot of ideas about what makes people procrastinate. In addition to anxiety and perfectionism, some suggested that procrastinators were self-sabotaging, hostile and rebellious, or depressed.

But for Steel, procrastination can be explained by an insight borrowed from behavioural economics called hyperbolic discounting [my link]. This is the tendency to value near-term rewards more than long-term ones. For instance, some people will choose a payoff of $50 today over $100 tomorrow.”

There’s an old fashioned saying: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. But, as with all such adages, there are times (whether it is saving for our pensions, or keeping fit) when it may be wrong.

Resting heart rate 53

Weight 72 kg

Sick with heavy virus

Mood :-(

Donate and help me buy back my Fender ('About' tells you why)

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