Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Small Graphic on Procrastination

On the mental front (as on the physical front), we are too lazy and procrastinate too much. Just as most developed-world citizens engage in too little physical activity, most people would agree that we put off and avoid mental labor to an irrational degree. Research tends to back up this intuition: for example, driven people tend to earn more (even controlling for hours worked) and students who are given the opportunity to commit themselves to not procrastinate end up doing better.

Habits that suited our ancestors well are sometimes poor fits for modern society. For example, we are not particularly calorie-limited in physical nor in mental effort.

To help visualize the situation: