Less Wrong

Richard Goode's picture
Submitted by Richard Goode on Mon, 2011-01-03 01:47

Less Wrong is a blog every SOLOist should read. Less Wrong is devoted to refining the art of human rationality.

Here's an excerpt from a recent post.

When you procrastinate, you're probably not procrastinating because of the pain of working.

How do I know this?  Because on a moment-to-moment basis, being in the middle of doing the work is usually less painful than being in the middle of procrastinating.

(Bolded because it's true, important, and nearly impossible to get your brain to remember - even though a few moments of reflection should convince you that it's true.)

So what is our brain flinching away from, if not the pain of doing the work?

I think it's flinching away from the pain of the decision to do the work - the momentary, immediate pain of (1) disengaging yourself from the (probably very small) flow of reinforcement that you're getting from reading a random unimportant Internet article, and (2) paying the energy cost for a prefrontal override to exert control of your own behavior and begin working.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got work to do.