NYT – Why Your Brain Tricks You Into Doing Less Important Tasks


I’ll be the first to admit I’m a 1st class procrastinator … fun article to read

  • Your brain is working against you, and it’s because of a phenomenon called the urgency effect
  • brains tend to prioritize immediate satisfaction over long-term rewards
  • people more likely to perform urgent, smaller tasks with a deadline than more important tasks without an immediate time constraint
  • “people choose to perform urgent tasks with short completion windows, instead of important tasks with larger outcomes,
    • important tasks are more difficult and further away from goal completion,
    • urgent tasks involve more immediate and certain payoffs
  • Even if we know a larger, less-urgent task is vastly more consequential, we will instinctively choose to do a smaller, urgent task anyway.
  • boxes — specifically, one developed by our 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
    • a 2×2 square with four boxes.
      • At top of the square are two labels: Urgent and non-urgent.
      • On the left are two other labels: Importantand not important
  • put every task you have to do into one of those four boxes
    • things tied to approaching deadlines are quite often not the most important
      •  delegate them.
  • tasks that don’t have a deadline and aren’t important … remove

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