Delayed Gratification vs Intentional Resting

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Delayed gratification can be defined as resisting an immediate reward with a view towards acquiring a greater or more valuable reward in the future. So much can be said about delayed gratification and it's ramifications for relative success later in life.

However, although delayed gratification is generally desirable for our future selves, it's difficult to consistently and persistently pursue this practice. We procrastinate, rest, play and seek immediate reward to relieve ourselves of the lack of reward and to motivate ourselves to continue with our work and to pursue our goals.

This is one of the reasons in which progress indicators are important, as they offer a little immediate reward for your efforts. You get some delight from seeing that you're digesting your work at a reasonable pace, and that your efforts are contributing to the end goal. (This is why when working and studying, you should reward yourself intermittently. It helps with motivation.) However, this practice does directly clash with pursuing delayed gratification.

Intentional rest (ahem, procrastination), does have its benefits sometimes, from keeping yourself rested and healthy to actually being productive, as counter-intuitive as it sounds.

A balance must be struck between delayed gratification and intentional rest and reward to maximise our success and gratification both for our present and future selves.


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