“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?
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.
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