Maria Konnikova:

The researchers found that each trait was moderately heritable: about forty-six per cent of the tendency to procrastinate, and forty-nine per cent of the tendency toward impulsiveness, was attributable to genes. But the estimated genetic correlation between the two traits was one—that is, perfect—or at least as close to perfect as you can get. What’s more, Friedman’s team found that both traits could, in turn, be linked to goal-management ability: the same shared genetic variation overlapped substantially (at sixty-eight per cent) with a tendency toward goal failure.

So basically if you are prone to procrastination you are like impulsive as well. I do like the advice near the end:

“The problem with a goal we’re avoiding is that we’ve already built into our minds how awful it’s going to be,” he [Steel] said. “So it’s like diving into a cold pool: the first few seconds are terrible, but soon it feels great.” So, set the goal of working on a task for a short time, and then reassess.

In other words just getting started, and using realistic goals is a massive help.


Posted by Ben Brooks