Activation energy: the chemistry of getting started

In chemistry, activation energy is the energy that must be provided to result in a chemical reaction. The more energy is needed, the harder it is to start the chemical reaction. In work and life as well, we sometimes need to get over the initial hump of getting started. For instance, it can be hard …

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The benefits of laziness: why being a lazy person can be good for you

Sloth is one of the seven capital sins. While it’s hard to define it exactly, most will agree it has to do with laziness: the disinclination to use energy. Whether or not you believe in such moral vices, most cultures see laziness as a negative trait. However, being lazy can have advantages—and many of them …

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Pressure and procrastination

“I work best under pressure” is an unsurprisingly common statement in high-pressure work environments. But is it true we work better under pressure, or do we just work faster? Can certain types of pressure be beneficial to fight procrastination and improve performance? Peer pressure and procrastination In a study looking at the social pattern of …

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Understanding the emotions behind procrastination

You have a deadline. You know you should get to work. But instead of focusing on what’s urgent and important, you spend your time on something else. Despite the inner voice telling you to get started and the rising anxiety, you’re procrastinating. While the neuroscience of procrastination is mainly based on a fight between your …

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The impact of the shiny toy syndrome

The shiny toy syndrome is characterised by wanting to own the latest toy and getting an intense but temporary sensation of happiness from the ownership, before moving onto something else. This desire to own and use the latest and supposedly greatest is often irrespective of the practical need for it. The shiny toy syndrome doesn’t …

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Why we wait: the neuroscience of procrastination

I have been meaning to write about procrastination for a while, but… Well, I procrastinated. We procrastinate when we delay or postpone the stuff we should be doing. Procrastination is incredibly common and something we have all struggled with at one point or another. Some people procrastinate out of fear of being judged for their …

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