I have Akrasia. Who knew?


Yeah, Akrasia might be a fancy word for procrastination coined by ancient philosophers like Aristotle and Socrates but seriously, I buy presents. I buy cards. Why do I have such a difficult time getting them into the mail on time?

I went to a wedding last Fall that I need to send a present for – I’ve known for months what I’m going to get the couple.  I have a problem with follow-thru.  In fact, follow-thru is my intention for 2018. I even have a vision board revolving around it.


But I now realize my mistake. My vision board and my good follow-thru intentions were missing one thing, an understanding of the human brain and its desire for immediate gratification over long-term benefits.

My vision board focused on all the things I wanted: good health, travel etc… Instead to trick my very human brain, I need to focus on getting started over focusing on the end product.

Focus on getting started over the end product.

Smart scientists apparently call this using Implementation Intentions and apparently it really works.  We’ve all heard the saying, make an appointment with yourself – put it on your calendar.  There are on the right track with that advice – so my example might be, I will write cards/send packages on Sunday at 6:00pm.  Then theoretically, I don’t worry or fret over it at any other time during the week but come Sunday at 6:00, I knock it out.

So, the good news is I don’t have a motivation problem. I do have an inertia or a getting started problem but now I have some new tricks up my sleeve to clear up my Akrasia.  Do you have any Implementation Intention devices that have worked for you?

Two great articles on this topic.

The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It


  • Dee

    You hit the nail on the head for me, Emmy. I just let the cards to be sent pile up until one morning I just get to it. Even a package to be sent is on its way. Who knew this malady had a name!

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