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Links 1 through 10 of 92 by Angela Alcorn tagged motivation

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Excerpt: Procrastinators often follow exactly the wrong tack. They try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done. But this approach ignores the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. The few tasks on his list will be, by definition, the most important. And the only way to avoid doing them will be to do nothing. This is the way to become a couch potato, not an effective human being.

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Excerpt: So why is housekeeping, for example, so much fun when you're supposed to be working on your dissertation or a paper? It's a displacement activity, used to dispel the self-reproach or discomfort that we feel for not doing something else. Reading a novel or taking a nap causes too much guilt. But have you ever, say, reorganized your folders to make it easier to find the files? It would speed up your writing, after all. Or perhaps you've diligently labelled all the cupboards in the lab to make it easier to find things.

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One group thought about why we need to maintain good relationships (abstract, high-level) while the other focused on how we maintain good relationships (concrete, low-level).

As you can see, for the purposes of this experiment, the reason participants were thinking abstractly didn't matter so much. That's because when we think abstractly about one thing, we tend to carry on thinking in an abstract mode about anything else that's put in front of us, including the choice between an apple and a candy bar.

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