Productive! Magazine #13

Page 10


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Akrasia, The Planner Self and Lazy Self

Many of us have a problem following through on our intentions. And it’s more than just a difficulty in predicting our future desires. It’s not like “Gee, I thought I wanted to get in shape but it turned out there was always something really good on TV!” By Daniel Reeves and Jill Renaud


o, even in hindsight, you regret not doing what you said you wanted to do. It’s not even that you’re merely conflicted about what you


want. The trade–off you made – more TV watched, still not in shape – was patently ridiculous. You somehow don’t do what you genuinely want to do.

What is Akrasia? Philosophers back to Plato and Aristotle have a fancy term for this paradoxical

failure of the will: akrasia. It encompasses procrastination, lack of self–control, lack of follow–through, and any kind of addictive behavior. Another way to define akrasia is by generalizing from procrastination to include preproperation as well. Procrastination is the irrational delay of tasks with immediate cost and de-