Why do we put off enjoyable tasks?

Traveler Looking Out

One common misconception about procrastination is that we only tend to put off the things we hate to do. There are so many examples of tasks we would love to avoid: housework, going to the dentist, having a ‘difficult’ conversation etc. It’s easy to understand why we might choose to delay acting on those.

Would it surprise you to learn that we can be equally as bad at putting off tasks that bring us pleasure? At the simplest level, this can include our inability to redeem frequent flyer miles on time but can also extend to the point where we actually are deferring our capability to live happy lives.

In the ‘rat race’ paradigm, it’s normal to defer the lives we want to live until we achieve our goal, our promotion, our next big target. “When ‘the big thing’ happens, then I can start enjoying my life!”

This article from the New York Times explores research on why we respond better to tighter deadlines when redeeming gift vouchers. Some of us might shy away from deadlines as we see them as being ‘overly-controlled’. But, ask yourself, why would you postpone enjoying life?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *