By Juno DeMelo
In a similar study from 2018, led by Lisa Fournier, a professor of psychology at Washington State University, subjects were tasked with retrieving two buckets of balls. One was 6 to 12 feet in front of them, and the other was another 6 to 10 feet farther. Eighty percent of the subjects picked up the first bucket, carried it with them all the way to the second one, and then carried both back to the starting point.
“We tend to start with the task that can be done as soon as possible,” Dr. Fournier said. “I know I do this with to-do lists.”
Indeed, the longer your to-do list is, the likelier you are to precrastinate. To drive this point home, Dr. Fournier and her co-authors had some of the study participants increase their mental load by asking them to memorize a list of numbers that they would have to recall after retrieving the balls. The result: The percentage of precrastinators went up to 90.
What’s so hard about not jumping the gun?
One explanation is evolution. If you don’t grab the low-hanging fruit now, it might not be there later. You could run out of time to complete a task, or forget about it altogether. Carpe diem, right?
“I actually interrupt people a lot because otherwise I’m afraid I won’t remember what I was going to say,” Dr. Fournier said.
Another is conscientiousness. Research shows that people who precrastinate aren’t impulsive. Rather, they tend to be highly rational and eager to show that they’re worthy of responsibility. Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist and professor of management and psychology at Wharton, said precrastination is a perversion of diligence.
“It’s the dark side of being really good at getting things done,” he said. “It stems from the concern that you won’t have enough time to do something well, especially when other people are depending on you.”
Dr. Rosenbaum added that evidence suggests we precrastinate in order to free up working memory.
“It’s so mentally onerous to carry a to-do list in our mind we’ll engage in behaviors that let us reduce that cognitive load even if it means exerting more effort,” he said.
No matter that you don’t really have to “remember” to pick up the bucket you’ll pass on your way back. “When you have a task to do, it creates some tension,” Dr. Rosenbaum said. “And until the task is completed, that tension continues to exist.”
It’s inherently satisfying to check things off. Princeton neuroscientists found that the reward center in your brain, called the nucleus accumbens, is activated more strongly when you complete a less-effortful task.
But all those ticked boxes can, paradoxically, hamper your productivity. When faced with a long to-do list or a complex goal, most people are drawn to the tasks or subgoals with a short completion window and more immediate payoff.
“Our brain gets very aroused when we’re focused on time,” said Meng Zhu, an associate professor who studies urgency at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. “You stop asking why you’re doing something and just do it.”
In other words: You carry a “bucket” around with you unnecessarily just so you can be done picking it up — even if doing so makes it difficult to complete other goals.
“What happens when you precrastinate is that your anxiety about making progress causes you to dive in headfirst as opposed to giving yourself time to consider your options,” Dr. Grant said.
“In grad school, I knew a guy who wrote his dissertation on the first topic that came to mind,” Dr. Grant said. “Before he could turn it in, his hard drive broke. He realized his dissertation wasn’t working at all and wrote a completely different one that ended up being much better. That’s a moment only a precrastinator knows.”
Further still, precrastination can even become a burden to others. “I have a student who’s always sending me drafts that he hasn’t worked on for very long because he wants to get them off his plate and onto mine,” Dr. Fournier said. “That drives me nuts.”
“Just being aware of this tendency can be very, very helpful,” said Dr. Rosenbaum, but it won’t get you all the way there. Here’s some advice that might help.
1. Lighten your load
Dr. Zhu’s research has found that the less busy you are, the less likely you are to precrastinate.
“Delete any tasks that are nice but unnecessary,” said Julie Morgenstern, a productivity expert. Then choose what you can diminish — for example, ordering takeout instead of making a meal from scratch — and what you can delegate — like asking someone on your team to respond to a new-business request instead of handling it yourself.
2. Schedule your to-do’s
“I tell all my clients to integrate their to-do lists into their calendars,” Ms. Morgenstern said. For recurring tasks, like replying to email, try batching: Rather than replying as soon as a message comes in, settle on a few times throughout the day to deal with your inbox. And if there’s a message you can’t — or shouldn’t — bang out quickly, schedule it.
“I have an old friend who takes forever to reply to emails,” Dr. Rosenbaum said. “So even though I’m very type-A, I deliberately refrain from writing back to him for six weeks. Not responding immediately takes the pressure off of others and yourself.”
3. Schedule your to-be’s, too
“What’s important in life? Health, your family and love,” Dr. Zhu said. “But some of us never schedule a potentially lifesaving checkup or go on a hike with our kids because there’s no deadline.”
If it’ll matter to you on your deathbed, put it on your calendar. Plan your day to include time for activities that are meaningful but not necessarily “productive,” such as meditating or spending quality time with your significant other.
4. Redefine progress
It sounds counterintuitive, but slowing down can help you make up time in the end.
When tackling a creative task, whether it’s redecorating your living room or writing a proposal, “the first phase should be generating a certain number of ideas,” Dr. Grant said.
“You shouldn’t measure your initial progress by how many words you’ve written or how many brush strokes you’ve made, but how many possibilities you’ve put on the table.”B:
黄大仙救世报红组统一【李】【氏】【财】【团】【这】【次】【大】【张】【旗】【鼓】【的】【宣】【布】【进】【军】【东】【南】【亚】【市】【场】，【也】【让】【亨】【利】·【凯】【瑟】【克】【和】【沈】【弼】【等】【人】【松】【了】【一】【口】【气】，**【宇】【用】【行】【动】【表】【明】【这】【次】【李】【雪】【兰】【的】【事】【情】【他】【没】【有】【把】【矛】【头】【对】【向】【英】【资】【财】【团】。 【而】【这】【次】【李】【氏】【财】【团】【突】【然】【派】【出】【多】【位】【高】【层】【前】【往】【东】【南】【亚】【几】【国】【开】【辟】【市】【场】，【是】【不】【是】【已】【经】【发】【现】【了】【什】【么】【问】【题】，【亨】【利】·【凯】【瑟】【克】【几】【人】【不】【得】【而】【知】。 【这】【个】【时】【候】【他】【们】【也】【只】【能】【够】【继】
【花】【白】【头】【发】【的】【老】【者】【根】【本】【就】【没】【有】【看】【龙】【展】【颜】【一】【眼】，【便】【走】【到】【桌】【上】，【迫】【不】【及】【待】【的】【打】【起】【那】【个】【瓶】【子】，【倒】【出】【一】【粒】【洗】【髓】【丹】【来】，【他】【用】【鼻】【子】【细】【细】【的】【闻】【着】。 【看】【着】【老】【者】【那】【那】【滑】【稽】【的】【模】【样】，【龙】【展】【颜】【忍】【不】【住】【笑】【了】【起】【来】。 【过】【了】【有】【五】【分】【钟】【左】【右】，【那】【花】【白】【头】【发】【的】【老】【者】【拿】【起】【那】【枚】【宗】【级】【洗】【髓】【丹】，【走】【到】【阳】【光】【下】，【细】【细】【观】【望】【了】【许】【久】。 【又】【小】【心】【翼】【翼】【的】【放】【在】【自】【己】【的】
【众】【仙】【贺】【道】：“【恭】【祝】【吾】【皇】【寿】【与】【天】【齐】，【娘】【娘】【万】【福】【金】【安】！” 【玉】【帝】【道】：“【众】【爱】【卿】【平】【身】。【今】【日】【蟠】【桃】【盛】【会】，【气】【象】【犹】【胜】【往】【日】。【朕】【赐】【每】【位】【爱】【卿】【金】【丹】【一】【粒】，【御】【酒】【一】【斛】，【聊】【以】【助】【兴】！” 【众】【仙】【一】【听】【心】【中】【大】【喜】，【谢】【恩】【之】【后】【车】【轮】【般】【上】【前】【敬】【酒】。 【玉】【帝】【也】【是】【江】【海】【之】【量】，【千】【杯】【万】【盏】【后】【并】【无】【醉】【意】，【反】【而】【精】【神】【焕】【发】，【连】【声】【道】：“【猜】【拳】【行】【令】【者】【排】【好】【队】，
【若】【枫】【妈】【妈】【兴】【致】【勃】【勃】【地】【张】【罗】【着】【饭】【桌】，【每】【一】【道】【菜】【都】【是】【她】【精】【心】【为】【儿】【子】【准】【备】【的】，【自】【从】【韩】【若】【枫】【从】【家】【里】【搬】【出】【去】【住】【之】【后】，【别】【说】【见】【他】【一】【面】，【就】【是】【偶】【尔】【吃】【顿】【饭】【都】【成】【了】【奢】【望】，【好】【不】【容】【易】【逮】【着】【了】【机】【会】，【她】【真】【恨】【不】【得】【把】【儿】【子】【栓】【在】【家】【几】【天】【好】【好】【陪】【陪】【自】【己】。 “【他】【爸】，【你】【打】【电】【话】【再】【问】【问】【他】【到】【哪】【儿】【了】，【这】【饭】【菜】【都】【要】【凉】【啦】。”【若】【枫】【妈】【刚】【说】【完】，【门】【口】【已】【经】【传】【来】黄大仙救世报红组统一【他】【顿】【了】【顿】，【才】【目】【光】【凝】【住】：“【更】【何】【况】【这】【家】【伙】【据】【说】【已】【经】【上】【了】【图】【书】【馆】【最】【具】【潜】【力】【少】【年】【观】【察】【榜】【第】【三】【名】……” “【那】【第】【一】【名】【是】【谁】？” “【是】【一】【个】【女】【孩】【儿】，【据】【说】【已】【经】【消】【失】【了】【一】【段】【时】【间】。” “【第】【二】【名】【呢】？” “【也】【是】【一】【个】【女】【孩】【儿】，【据】【说】【还】【在】，【实】【力】【很】【强】【大】【的】【样】【子】。” “【你】【不】【知】【道】【她】【们】【到】【底】【是】【谁】【吗】？” “【废】【话】，【你】【以】【为】【我】
“【方】【言】【辙】【这】【家】【伙】【真】【是】【讨】【厌】【啊】！”【正】【是】【因】【为】【这】【句】【话】，【场】【上】【所】【有】【人】【都】【变】【得】【沉】【默】【了】【起】【来】，【刘】【浩】【更】【是】【忍】【不】【住】【嘀】【咕】【了】【一】【句】。 【声】【音】【很】【小】，【方】【言】【辙】【是】【听】【不】【到】，【但】【直】【播】【间】【的】【观】【众】【们】【可】【都】【听】【到】【了】。 “【是】【挺】【讨】【厌】【的】，【畏】【畏】【缩】【缩】，【还】***【呢】。” “【方】【言】【辙】【真】【是】【怂】【的】【不】【像】【话】【啊】！” “【真】【是】【把】【我】【们】【急】【死】【了】，【这】【么】【好】【的】【机】【会】【怕】【什】【么】【啊】
【阮】【二】【哥】【不】【禁】【摸】【着】【自】【己】【的】【脸】，【难】【道】【他】【长】【得】【不】【好】【看】？ 【陷】【入】【怀】【疑】【的】【阮】【二】【哥】【从】【衣】【襟】【里】【摸】【出】【来】【一】【块】【巴】【掌】【大】【的】【铜】【镜】，【看】【着】【里】【面】【的】【人】，【挺】【好】【看】【啊】。 【瞧】【瞧】，【这】【眉】【眼】【多】【精】【致】！ 【这】【唇】【瓣】【多】【饱】【满】！ 【还】【有】【这】【一】【头】【秀】【发】，【白】【皙】【的】【肌】【肤】，【他】【是】【女】【人】【都】【心】【动】！ “【囡】【囡】，【你】【想】【要】【人】【多】【一】【起】【玩】【热】【闹】，【可】【以】【喊】【上】【小】【一】【小】【二】，【而】【且】【这】【不】【是】【还】【有】