The psychological origins of procrastination – and how we can stop putting things off

first_imgShare Share on Twitter Email “I love deadlines,” English author Douglas Adams once wrote. “I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”We’ve all had the experience of wanting to get a project done but putting it off for later. Sometimes we wait because we just don’t care enough about the project, but other times we care a lot – and still end up doing something else. I, for one, end up cleaning my house when I have a lot of papers to grade, even though I know I need to grade them.So why do we procrastinate? Are we built to operate this way at some times? Or is there something wrong with the way we’re approaching work? LinkedIncenter_img Pinterest Share on Facebook These questions are central to my research on goal pursuit, which could offer some clues from neuroscience about why we procrastinate – and how to overcome this tendency.To do, or not to doIt all starts with a simple choice between working now on a given project and doing anything else: working on a different project, doing something fun or doing nothing at all.The decision to work on something is driven by how much we value accomplishing the project in that moment – what psychologists call its subjective value. And procrastination, in psychological terms, is what happens when the value of doing something else outweighs the value of working now.This way of thinking suggests a simple trick to defeat procrastination: find a way to boost the subjective value of working now, relative to the value of other things. You could increase the value of the project, decrease the value of the distraction, or some combination of the two.For example, instead of cleaning my house, I might try to focus on why grading is personally important to me. Or I could think about how unpleasant cleaning can actually be – especially when sharing a house with a toddler.It’s simple advice, but adhering to this strategy can be quite difficult, mainly because there are so many forces that diminish the value of working in the present.The distant deadlinePeople are not entirely rational in the way they value things. For example, a dollar bill is worth exactly the same today as it is a week from now, but its subjective value – roughly how good it would feel to own a dollar – depends on other factors besides its face value, such as when we receive it.The tendency for people to devalue money and other goods based on time is called delay discounting. For example, one study showed that, on average, receiving $100 three months from now is worth the same to people as receiving $83 right now. People would rather lose $17 than wait a few months to get a larger reward.Other factors also influence subjective value, such as how much money someone has recently gained or lost. The key point is that there is not a perfect match between objective value and subjective value.Delay discounting is a factor in procrastination because the completion of the project happens in the future. Getting something done is a delayed reward, so its value in the present is reduced: the further away the deadline is, the less attractive it seems to work on the project right now.Studies have repeatedly shown that the tendency to procrastinate closely follows economic models of delay discounting. Furthermore, people who characterize themselves as procrastinators show an exaggerated effect. They discount the value of getting something done ahead of time even more than other people.One way to increase the value of completing a task is to make the finish line seem closer. For example, vividly imagining a future reward reduces delay discounting.No work is ‘effortless’Not only can completing a project be devalued because it happens in the future, but working on a project can also be unattractive due to the simple fact that work takes effort.New research supports the idea that mental effort is intrinsically costly; for this reason, people generally choose to work on an easier task rather than a harder task. Furthermore, there are greater subjective costs for work that feels harder (though these costs can be offset by experience with the task at hand).This leads to the interesting prediction that people would procrastinate more the harder they expect the work to be. That’s because the more effort a task requires, the more someone stands to gain by putting the same amount of effort into something else (a phenomenon economists call opportunity costs). Opportunity costs make working on something that seems hard feels like a loss.Sure enough, a group of studies shows that people procrastinate more on unpleasant tasks. These results suggest that reducing the pain of working on a project, for example by breaking it down into more familiar and manageable pieces, would be an effective way to reduce procrastination.Your work, your identityWhen we write that procrastination is a side effect of the way we value things, it frames task completion as a product of motivation, rather than ability.In other words, you can be really good at something, whether it’s cooking a gourmet meal or writing a story, but if you don’t possess the motivation, or sense of importance, to complete the task, it’ll likely be put off.It was for this reason that the writer Robert Hanks, in a recent essay for the London Review of Books, described procrastination as “a failure of appetites.”The source of this “appetite” can be a bit tricky. But one could argue that, like our (real) appetite for food, it’s something that’s closely intertwined with our daily lives, our culture and our sense of who we are.So how does one increase the subjective value of a project? A powerful way – one that my graduate students and I have written about in detail – is to connect the project to your self-concept. Our hypothesis is that projects seen as important to a person’s self-concept will hold more subjective value for that person.It’s for this reason that Hanks also wrote that procrastination seems to stem from a failure to “identify sufficiently with your future self” – in other words, the self for whom the goal is most relevant.Because people are motivated to maintain a positive self-concept, goals connected closely to one’s sense of self or identity take on much more value.Connecting the project to more immediate sources of value, such as life goals or core values, can fill the deficit in subjective value that underlies procrastination.By Elliot Berkman, Assistant Professor, Psychology, University of Oregon and Jordan Miller-Ziegler, PhD Candidate in Psychology, University of OregonThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more


Foreign quarterbacks raising standards in X League

first_img RELATED PHOTOS Mason Mills, the Silver Star’s new American quarterback, throws a pass against the BigBlue in early October. He currently leads the X League in passing yards. KAZ NAGATSUKA IBM quarterback Kevin Craft (right) celebrates after wide receiver Takashi Kurihara caught a touchdown pass against Asahi Beer in early October in Kawasaki. Craft became the first American to play quarterback in the X League in 2012. KAZ NAGATSUKA X League, American quarterbacks KEYWORDS IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5center_img Frontiers quarterback Colby Cameron runs against the Rise during a game in Kawasaki last month. The American led Fujitsu to the X League title last year. | KAZ NAGATSUKA GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Craft had a big impact in his first year in Japan. With the ex-UCLA player under center, the BigBlue turned into a prolific offensive team. They averaged 367.7 total yards (184.4 passing) in the 2011 fall season, and improved to 469.7 yards (279.9) with Craft the following year.“That’s good,” said former Louisiana Tech University player Colby Cameron, who guided the Fujitsu Frontiers to their first X League championship last year. “It makes the league more competitive. A lot of American quarterbacks have strong arms and really spread the field. It’s fun to compete against them.”Last fall season, Craft and Cameron were locked in an unprecedented passing race. Craft led the X League with 1,927 yards passing, followed by Cameron, who had 1,822 yards. Both threw a league-high 22 touchdowns. Craft’s BigBlue and Cameron’s Frontiers squared off in the Japan X Bowl, the league championship game, last December.Craft said he knew other clubs would follow IBM in acquiring American quarterbacks, because that was the case in Europe, where he had previously played. According to Craft, who played in France, many European teams had American quarterbacks.Case in point: Craft cited Asahi Beer Silver Star newcomer Mason Mills, who has provided extra power, as an example.“Mason, he’s made a big impact on his team already,” Craft said after his IBM defeated the Silver Star in Kawasaki in early October. “They did things they weren’t doing in the last couple of years. Yeah, they are changing, and I think a lot of teams are changing. The style of play, the offense, and the way defense has to play against their offense.”Mills is leading the 18-team X League first division with 1,957 yards (21 TDs) so far this season.Like Craft did for the BigBlue, Mills has upgraded the Silver Star offense enormously. The former University of San Diego signal-caller has improved the Silver Star offense by about 200 yards per game in the first five games of this fall season both in its total yards (293.0 to 486.8) and passing yards (213.9 to 418.8) compared with their previous fall campaign.The Silver Star landed wideout Roman Wilson along with Mills, and that’s been a plus as well.Silver Star offensive coordinator Hayato Arima said that with Mills’ stronger arm and wider vision, the team is able to utilize a broader range of the field and has more options offensively.“Because we use a wider area of the field, every (opposing) defender has to cover a bigger area,” Arima said. “And that’s why we’ve completed our passes more.”Craft agrees and finds himself enjoying playing with talented Japanese players around him.“I think in Japan, they have really skilled guys,” Craft said. “The skill positions are pretty good and they really play at a higher level, smart, quick . . . They could get physical, and more so than like in Europe and stuff. So you can do a lot of things throwing the ball, utilizing some of the talent Japan has.“The national team, they’ve got guys that played in NFL Europe. Guys that were in the Ravens camp (IBM wide receiver Takashi Kurihara) and Falcons camp (Obic Seagulls wideout Noriaki Kinoshita).”Mills said: “You have the NFL and the CFL. But I think Japanese level is the next-best league after the United States and Canada. So I think it’s very competitive.”Arima said that American quarterbacks develop defenses as well as offenses, because the defenders with American quarterbacks on their teams encounter them in practice.Shinzo Yamada, the IBM head coach, believes it was a natural conclusion for he and his club to allocate one of the four spots for foreign players (up to two can take the field simultaneously) to a quarterback.“I didn’t understand why nobody would get a quarterback,” said Yamada, a former linebacker in NFL Europa and the XFL (both of which are now defunct).“I’d been the head coach for two years (before Craft came in), and thought that maybe we wouldn’t be able to win the championship with the status quo. Then we made up our mind to get a quarterback. Luckily, it’s really paid off for us to have Craft.”But even for the Americans, who have an edge physically and have played the position longer than Japanese quarterbacks in general (many of the Japanese players begin playing football in high school or college), it isn’t necessarily easy to adjust to their new surroundings because of the different playing styles and the language barrier.After all, no matter where you are from and no matter which country you play in, it takes time to get in sync with your team in football, where communication and preparation matter a great deal.“I think that, as I’ve had a lot of time to work with our guys, they know what I’m thinking and they know how I can throw it,” Craft said. “So we’re all on the same page a lot with our own guys.“I’ve had some time to play against the Japanese style of defense, which is a little bit different than the way they play it in America.”Meanwhile, the employment of American QBs in Japan is also creating friction. The opposing faction thinks the Americans take spots from Japanese players and won’t help develop football in Japan.Arima admits it is a difficult issue, but believes it could help raise the bar for Japanese football overall in the long run.“It may take some time, but if you ask Japanese quarterbacks about the standard that the Americans are playing at, eventually you are going to have Japanese quarterbacks that are as good,” he said. “I’d like to see that happen, and I believe it’s a good thing.” In Japanese football’s eight decades of history, the last few years have clearly been an epoch-making period because of one trend: an influx of American quarterbacks.Since the IBM BigBlue became the first team to have an American — Kevin Craft — at the position in 2012, the league has added one after another every year. A couple of clubs followed the trend this year, and a total of five American quarterbacks are currently playing for Japanese teams.last_img read more


Oakridge downs Reeths-Puffer behind strong pitching from Kayla Fessenden,Monday girls soccer roundup: Laney Peasley nets four goals in Spring Lake victory

first_img Other Share Other DEAL OF THE DAY Shares Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. 0 Add Comments (Max 320 characters) $26.86$49.99 Inappropriate / Offensive Report a problem This item is… $14.99 Inappropriate / Offensive Other ENDS IN Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Displayed poorly Displayed poorly × × $3.99 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. × Report a problem This item is… FOX Sports: Stream live NFL, College Footbal… $0.00 Inappropriate / Offensive Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Other Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Report a problem This item is… Shop Now Displayed poorly (1862) DEAL OF THE DAY $59.99 Report a problem This item is… (124) Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. ENDS IN Report a problem This item is… Not relevant DEAL OF THE DAY NBC Sports A Warrior’s Heart Inappropriate / Offensive Not relevant (35539) Bestseller ENDS IN DEAL OF THE DAY (22) The Oakridge softball team took both games of their doubleheader over Reeths-Puffer Monday, winning 5-4 and 4-0.In game one, Kayla Fessenden took the win on the mound for Oakridge, allowing three hits and striking out four. Sophia Wiard and Macy Whippie each had two hits to lead the Eagle offense while Fessenden added two doubles and three RBIs.For Reeths-Puffer, Makayla Thompson allowed eight hits and nine strikeouts in the loss.Thompson had a two-run homerun to lead the Rocket offense while Tori Keukowski had two RBI’s and a double.In game two, Fessenden pitched a shutout allowing three hits and striking out seven. Offensively Oakridge were led by Halle Jennings and Brie Pastor with three hits collectively and two RBI’s. Fessenden again impacted the offensive side of the game with a double and an RBI.Oakridge improves to 17-2 overall with the two wins. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Special… DEAL OF THE DAY Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. ENDS IN Bestseller Inappropriate / Offensive Not relevant Bestseller The League Displayed poorly Displayed poorly × × DEAL OF THE DAY Not relevant Not relevant Displayed poorly Mail (8187) Displayed poorly Other Other (1009) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. ENDS IN Bestseller Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball … Fox Sports Go Add Comments (Max 320 characters) $0.00 (1461) Ads by Amazon Report a problem This item is… × Bestseller (33138) Bestseller Not relevant Dude Perfect Signature Bow Nerf Sports Bi… Report a problem This item is… $0.00 Displayed poorly Bestseller ENDS IN Other ENDS IN × Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Bestseller × Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. ENDS IN Report a problem This item is… Add Comments (Max 320 characters) DEAL OF THE DAY $15.29$17.99 Inappropriate / Offensive Share Inappropriate / Offensive Inappropriate / Offensive Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) DEAL OF THE DAY Other Not relevant Not relevant Ads by Amazonlast_img read more


Brown continues IMCA Frostbuster success at Marshalltown

first_imgMARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (April 8) – Close finishes in all four feature events highlighted season-opening Frostbuster action Friday at Marshalltown Speedway.Kyle Brown took the early lead and then held off late pressure from his father David and Josh Gilman on his way to the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified victory.Kyle Brown, who was inches behind Nick Roberts at the completion of the first lap, inherited the lead when Roberts spun a short time later to bring out the caution.Brown took advantage on the restart and built a half-straightaway lead by the time David Brown made his way into second on the sixth of 25 laps. He maintained that advantage until he encountered lapped traffic with 11 laps to go.Traffic was no longer a factor after caution slowed action a final time with four laps remaining. The straightaway Gilman trailed the leader also disappeared.When racing resumed, Kyle Brown held off Gilman by less than a car-length to take the victory with David Brown close behind. Tim Ward raced from 18th starting to fourth.The $1,000 win was Kyle Brown’s third of the season and second in two events during the extended Frostbuster Week.Damon Murty also inherited the early lead in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car headliner. Although he started in row three, Murty took over the pole position following a first lap caution that shuffled the lineup.Murty held serve throughout two more stoppages while Donavon Smith worked through the field after starting in the sixth row.Smith pulled alongside Murty as the leaders exiting turn four on the final lap. He surged past Murty at the stripe to steal the victory, his career 99th in the division.Randy Roberts took top honors in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature. Roberts battled three-wide with early leader Tyler Soppe and Sam Wieben before breaking free on lap eight.Wieben chased Roberts through traffic, but was unable to mount a charge as Roberts held on for victory in the caution-free event.Dustin Elliott was victorious in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock 20-lapper. Elliott battled Nathan Ballard and Benji Irvine before Eric Stanton made a late bid for the lead.Elliott was able to hold on by less than a carlength to take home the win.Feature Results Modifieds – 1. Kyle Brown, State Center; 2. Josh Gilman, Earlham; 3. David Brown, Kellogg; 4. Tim Ward, Gilbert, Ariz.; 5. Ronn Lauritzen, Jesup; 6. Tad Reutzel, Burt; 7. Scott Davis, Madrid; 8. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa; 9. Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.; 10. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton; 11. Trent Jackson, Marshalltown; 12. Bryce Garnhart, Shannon, Ill.; 13. Nick Roberts, Des Moines; 14. Mike Mueller, Rosendale, Wis.; 15. Scott Simatovich, State Center; 16. Joel Rust, Grundy Center; 17. Vern Jackson, Waterloo; 18. Brandon Brinton, Nevada; 19. Racer Hulin, Laurel; 20. Tom Berry Jr., Medford, Ore.; 21. Josh Foster, Newton; 22. Jacob Murray, Hartford; 23. Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.; 24. Gatlin Leytham, Ames; 25. Zach Rawlins, Newton.Stock Cars – 1. Donavon Smith, Lake City; 2. Damon Murty, Chelsea; 3. Steve Meyer, Grundy Center; 4. Tyler Pickett, Boxholm; 5. Jay Schmidt, Tama; 6. Donavon Nunnikhoven, Sully; 7. Jared Daggett, Marshalltown; 8. Scooter Dulin, Cedar Rapids; 9. Kevin Balmer, Garwin; 10. Russell Damme Jr., Waterloo; 11. Curt Balmer, Green Mountain; 12. Cody Frerichs, Howard Lake, Minn.; 13. Jeff Wollam, Marshalltown; 14. Michael Bilyeu, Indianola; 15. Jerry Schipper, Dike; 16. Ben Walding, Des Moines; 17. Don Vis, Marshalltown; 18. Todd Reitzler, Grinnell; 19. Trent Murphy, Scranton; 20. Austin Evens, Independence.Hobby Stocks – 1. Dustin Elliott, Marshalltown; 2. Eric Stanton, Carlisle; 3. Benji Irvine, Stanley; 4. Derek Hodges, Des Moines; 5. John Watson, Des Moines; 6. Garrett Eilander, Newton; 7. Justin Wacha, Vinton; 8. Justin Lichty, Waterloo; 9. Gene Nicklas, Grinnell; 10. Dustin Graham, Boone; 11. Gary Pfantz, State Center; 12. Dustin Filloon, Toledo; 13. Jack Phillips, Mitchellville; 14. Shawn Kuennen, Hazleton; 15. Clint Nelson, Baxter; 16. David Simpson, Ankeny; 17. Randy Byerly, Tipton; 18. Brandon Pitts, Ames; 19. Brian Derry, Boone; 20. Travis Merical, Marshalltown; 21. Kyle Dulin, Brandon; 22. Craig Lovig, Marshalltown; 23. Nathan Ballard, Marengo; 24. Tim Barber, Story City; 25. Greg Gilbert, Osceola; 26. Justin Hanson, Hawkeye; 27. Kevin Derry, Indianola; 28. Andy Peck, Newton.Northern SportMods – 1. Randy Roberts, Boone; 2. Sam Wieben, Dysart; 3. Tyler Soppe, Sherrill; 4. Carter VanDenBerg, Oskaloosa; 5. Jake McBirnie, Boone; 6. Zach McKinnon, Hatley, Wis.; 7. Chase Rudolf, Norwalk; 8. Johnathon Logue, Boone; 9. Adam Armstrong, Beatrice, Neb.; 10. Kyle Olson, Cedar Rapids; 11. Tony Olson, Cedar Rapids; 12. Cory Rose, Boone; 13. Ethan Braaksma, Newton; 14. Clint Luellen, Minburn; 15. Austin Luellen, Minburn; 16. Brandon Spagner, Crete, Neb.; 17. Michael Murphy, Jefferson; 18. Shawn Cooney, Des Moines; 19. Nate Whitehurst, Mason City; 20. Josh Appel, Mason City; 21. Neil Follett, Conrad; 22. Ryan King, Montour; 23. Jared Van Deest, Holland; 24. Curt Hilmer, Dysart.last_img read more


U.S. Open: Finau, Summerhays struggle, fall back after third round

first_img Spieth among leaders for final round of US Open Related I was scrambling all over the place today. I didn’t find a fairway until the 10th hole, but I was happy with the way I hung in there. – Tony FinauUNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – For Utah golfers Tony Finau and Daniel Summerhays, their time on the U.S. Open leaderboard was short-lived as both players had their struggles Saturday in the third round at the rock-hard, burned-out Chambers Bay Golf Course.The two Utah natives started the day in a tie for fifth place, just two shots off the lead, but both golfers bogeyed the first hole and had challenges in different areas – Finau with the driver and Summerhays on the greens – as they fell out of contention.Finau shot a 74 and sits at 211 total while Summerhays finished with a 78 for a 215 total. Finau tees off Sunday at 3:00 p.m. MT with Henrik Stenson while Summerhays goes off at 12:24 p.m. MT with amateur Denny McCarthy.While Finau is still within shouting distance, five shots off the pace set by four golfers, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Brendan Grace and Masters champion Jordan Spieth, he would have to leapfrog eight players with a low number Sunday afternoon to claim the trophy.Although he said he felt calm from the start, Summerhays started off with three straight bogeys, righted his ship in the middle of his round, only to go 4-over on a late 3-hole stretch and finish with the 8-over score that left him nine shots off the pace.Finau still stands in the top 10 in a tie for ninth place with six other golfers at 1-over-par 211. But he was disappointed with his finish, making one of the few bogeys of the day among the entire field on the par-5 18th hole. A birdie there would have put him in tie for fifth place, where he started the day, just three strokes off the lead.“I was scrambling all over the place today,’’ Finau said. “I didn’t find a fairway until the 10th hole, but I was happy with the way I hung in there.’’Summerhays was uncharacteristically critical of the course setup afterward, saying it favored the “bombers” and that it has “taken the putter out of the game.’’He said a lot of the greens were “baked-out” and “dirt” and some of the bunkers he got into late in his round either had rocks or not enough sand.“It was a comedy of errors,’’ he said. “I stayed really patient until the 16th hole and then it broke me down.’’Summerhays had made a birdie at 8 and saved par with a long putt at 11 but went bogey-double bogey-bogey at 15-16-17 before making a birdie at No. 18.“I hate to say it but they’ve taken putting out of the game here for sure and putting’s always been one of my strong suits,’’ he said. “So that was really disappointing to have it all be up to luck and to hit a lot of good putts and not have anything go in.’’Unlike Summerhays, Finau’s putter saved him on several occasions.He made a 10-footer at 11 to save par, a 5-footer at 12 for par, an 8-footer at 15 for birdie and just missed birdie putts at 16 and 17.“The putter was working just to keep me in it,’’ Finau said. “It would have been nice to finish a little better to put myself into better position going into tomorrow.I’m still in contention for sure. I’d like to close that gap on the front nine tomorrow.’’Finau has a chance, as does Summerhays, with a really low round, to earn some favors with a good finish.The top 10 finishers earn a spot in next year’s U.S. Open while the top four receive invitations to The Masters.Summerhays is staying positive and feels good about his overall game, despite his score Saturday.“I’m still looking forward to tomorrow and the next several tournaments because I feel I’m still playing well,’’ he said. “I’ll try and regroup and stay optimistic and stay positive.’’last_img read more


Police investigate robbery of Portland pot dispensary

first_imgPORTLAND — Authorities are investigating reports of an armed robbery at a Portland marijuana dispensary.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that police say multiple suspects were involved in the Sunday night incident, and at least four had handguns.Officers had arrived at Green Buds Dispensary to find at least two people running away from the business.Police have made only one arrest and are still searching for other suspects.Police have not yet determined what was taken from the dispensary.last_img read more