Share Progress Not Goals

Don’t Share Goals

When we share goals we think it’ll help keep us accountable. We believe committing to a new career or a healthier life is easier if we have support from family and friends. And, if we start to fall behind, we’ll have people to encourage us.

Unfortunately, without asking for these supports you’re unlikely to get them. Holding someone accountable is taxing. It may even hurt a relationship. Offering encouragement may seem easy, but it can’t do much without a plan to support it.

Worst of all, if you share goals publicly, you may hurt your chances at goal attainment. This is especially true for identity goals. Those related to perceptions of you; a better spouse, or a budding doctor.

When we announce identity goals it shifts others’ impression of us. We look better in their eyes for improving ourselves. But, people taking note of our intentions elicits a premature sense of completeness, says Peter Gollwitzer.

He conducted a series of studies highlighting this effect in 2008. Each of which showed some degree of this effect hampering progress towards goals.

In one experiment, participants committed their time to studying clinical psychology techniques. Two groups were formed, one where goals were acknowledged, the social reality group, the other whose goals were ignored.

The social reality group with a strong commitment towards their identity goal spent less time working. On average they worked 8 percent less than the social reality group with a weak commitment. And, up to 30 percent less than those with a strong commitment whose goal went unacknowledged.

In another experiment, law students publicly or privately stated their intentions of becoming a jurist. Gollwitzer’s intent was to measure feelings of goal completeness after social recognition. As expected, participants whose goals were acknowledged felt closer to being jurists. A shocking outcome considering they hadn’t put in any effort.

These experiments show how sharing goals deters achievement. Not only do we assume others will view us as closer to goal attainment, but we trick ourselves as well. When we’ve felt a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment, we mitigate our own effort. Why put in the work when we’ve already experienced a sense of fulfillment?

Sharing Progress

While progress takes up the bulk of the goal attainment, planning and effort is haphazard. In fact its often completely dependent on the individual. Even if the goal itself is common, e.g. weight-loss or learning to manage finances. But what seems to matter across all intentions is progress monitoring.

In 2015 a group of researchers noticed a lack of consensus on progress monitoring. They undertook a meta study including 136 research papers. Each looked at the effects of progress monitoring on goal attainment.

Researchers found public progress sharing or reporting via electronics has larger benefits than private monitoring. It increased goal striving through commitment, accountability, public perception, and positive framing.

Progress Monitoring

Once a public commitment is made we’re more likely to act in accordance with it. This is due to our desire for consistency in self and others. While this seems to conflate with advice to not share our goals, I’d argue its essentially different. Stating a goal is nothing more than intention. Whereas progress shows a commitment to self and a change in behavior. A sticking point for consistency.

Personal accountability is a key aspect to public sharing. Progress monitoring is difficult because it forces individuals to own up to discrepancies. In private it’s easy to brush aside failures or setbacks. We understand our reasons and can make excuses. But in public we’ve got to address the self-deception. Excuses turn into calls-to-action that help rectify and adjust behavior. We become accountable to our progress rather than complicit in failure.

Acknowledgement of progress encourages further accomplishments through public perception. Each time we share our progress we receive some form of praise for our efforts. Encouragement from friends and family is something to strive for, a form of intrinsic motivation. This, in turn, creates a reinforcing loop. As we consistently progress the praise continues encouraging further progress until goal attainment.

Finally public sharing allows for positive framing of progress. While it helps track distance to a goal it also allows you to remark on how far you’ve come. Noticing the effects of hard work offers another venue for intrinsic motivation. We can pat ourselves on the back over accomplishments and embolden our work.

Focus on Getting Started

When you start working on a goal, crucial steps must be undertaken to complete it. But, when you share that goal with others it alters your social reality. You hear some praise about how ambitious you might be or how capable you are. This tricks your mind into believing part of the goal is already done. In response you feel as though you can put less effort in. “Your brain mistakes the talking for action”, as Derek Sivers puts it in his Ted talk on the subject.

Instead you should resist sharing your intentions. Focus on getting through the initial steps to get started and monitor your effort. Then share your progress to your heart’s content.

What is Self-Confidence?

Self-Confidence, Hubris, and Diffidence

There are three primary forms of confidence, hubris, diffidence, and self-confidence. Each is based on similar characteristics, but have stark differences in presentation. Self-confidence is generally seen as part of a person’s worldview, but can also apply to skills and abilities. This is due its effects on behavior and applies to hubris and diffidence as well.

Hubristic individuals believe they are capable of accomplishing anything regardless of past accomplishments. They act entitled to accolades for their accomplishments and are defensive when criticized. It’s easy to perceive them as out of touch because they overestimate their competence. These assumptions often lead to risky behavior. After all, if you can do anything, why not try everything?

Self-Confidence Vector

Diffident people are risk averse, insecure, and easy to discourage. They are likely to experience impostor syndrome and act with a fixed mindset. Diffidence spreads to other facets of life. Individuals see failure as an inevitable outcome and they second guess their ability. Not because they aren’t capable, but because they give up at the first sign of trouble. These failures are internalized and used to reason away the possibility of success in future endeavors.

The Impact of Hubris, Diffidence, and Self-Confidence

Individuals who lack confidence are slow to recover and attribute failures to circumstance and chance. In reality, lack of ability is the real culprit. But, an insecure person won’t attempt to improve their skills. Instead they assume they cannot succeed and remove themselves from the task completely.

Events that change your self-confidence feed off each other. Belief in ability is forward looking, but based on past events. Once you’ve lost faith in your ability you’re less likely to try something new. If you do, you’re more willing to believe you can’t accomplish your goal.

If you push past failure and internalize success you’ll be more willing to try new experiences. You can draw on the current event and reassure your ability to persist even through tough times. These systems are vicious and virtuous circles. Complex series of events feeding off prior outcomes and promoting similar future outcomes.

These feedback loops are why we equate confidence with success and the lack of it with failure. So far research hasn’t proven one way or another which comes first. However, we do know other social emotional skills lead to positive gains in academic and life outcomes. There’s no reason to believe self-confidence is any different, but it’s important to acknowledge all skills that lead to success.

There is a real need to internalize the success we create and take confidence in our ability. The inverse of this, relating success to outside factors is a major determinant of mindset and impostor syndrome. With either trait you inhibit behaviors that promote success because past results rely on external factors.

To mitigate fixed mindset it’s important to allow time for reflection. Self-reflection helps maintain a mental equilibrium. The human mind is prone to storing positive over negative memories. Because of this, we look at our past through rose-colored lenses and focus on results rather than process. While this is beneficial for overall happiness it can lead to overconfidence.

Self-reflection is also a beneficial technique for internalizing success. It’s easy for individuals to play off their contributions when they can attribute it to luck or due to other’s work. This mindset leads towards diffidence and is ineffective for maintaining confidence.

The Difference Between Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Self-esteem Vector

Confidence and esteem are often used interchangeably, but the way they affect behavior shows they don’t go hand-in-hand. There are endless examples of confident entertainers who turn to drugs to overcome self-doubt and anxiety. People don’t have to be self-confident to treat themselves well. They may just understand the benefit of good mental and physical healthy..

Studies link both to success and they’re integral components of healthy individuals. They impact academic achievement, graduation rates, physical health, and economic success. So, it’s easy to understand why we end up using both to represent the similar experiences, especially after the self-esteem movement. But, their differences are important and lie in where behavior and belief are directed.

Self-esteem is the belief in one’s self-worth and how we treat ourselves based on that belief. The higher our self-esteem the better we treat ourselves. We act and behave as though we’re worthy of appreciation and proper care.

Self-confidence, the belief in one’s abilities, skills, and what we’re able to accomplish in the future. High self-confidence encourages people to act and reduces stress around new activities.

You’re likely to meet people whose confidence and self-esteem are relatively equal. Self-confidence stemming from achievement helps you view yourself in a positive light leading to higher self-worth. Then, that feeling of worth helps you reevaluate how you should treat yourself. It’s another example of the virtuous cycle that drives feelings towards self.

Considering the positive benefits of confidence and self-esteem how can we help individuals in these areas. And, how can we make sure what we do is right?

Success and Self-Confidence – The Unproven Fact

Self-confidence is lauded as a key to success. In less than a second Google returns 41 million responses and 600,000 scholarly articles studying their relationship. But, national education trends show too much can lead to delusion and only mild success.

The American Freshman Survey acts as a pulse check for incoming college students. It measures self-perception and college readiness based on high school performance. The survey asks students to compare themselves against their academic peers.

It’s important to note that these are self-rated categories. So the results shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but they do provide a glance into the mind of today’s young adult. The following table charts the percent of freshman who believe they are above average or in the top 10% of students. It’s clear the self-perception for many of these students, especially their “drive to achieve” is wildly over estimated.

Self-confidence in a social setting is the only aspect to take a dip in the past few years. Coincidentally or not, the movement aligns with the rise of social media and smartphone use.

More students than ever before see themselves as special or better than their peers. This trend aligns with the self-esteem movement started in the early 70s.

Growth of narcissism and misplaced self-confidence

The self-esteem movement grew from the book “The Psychology of Self-esteem” written by Nathaniel Branden. The book detailed how important self-esteem was for success in life. A claim few could argue against. The problem though, is how parents, advocacy groups, and educators decided to bolster self-esteem. Gold stars, participation trophies, and limiting adversity are the primary tools. Anything to make children feel better.

Unfortunately this isn’t how we gain self-esteem or confidence. It’s almost the exact opposite. People need a way to test their skills to prove competence and gain confidence. If you remove the test by guaranteeing a positive result then you’ve removed the intrinsic reward. The whole activity becomes less motivating because the only thing to gain is exactly what everyone else earns.

It’s this lack of motivation that some attribute to the mediocre academic gains in America. During the same time frame test scores in math and reading grew at a snail’s pace according the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). But, confidence in academic ability has never been higher.

It’s clear self-confidence is important. But, we need to understand the drivers for self-confidence and how it leads to success.

How Self-Confidence Leads to Success

Insecurities and hubris are a detrimental to happiness. They strip away your ability to see clearly and undermine your ability to assess risk. But, what is it about self-confidence that makes it such a key component of success?

  1. Self-confidence based in ability enables you to be more responsive to feedback and less likely to put up a defense when faced with criticism. It also removes implicit bias for your ability and entitlement for success. Instead, you can act as your own critic. Working on the skills that need the most development.
  2. It’s difficult to achieve personal goals. They need time, discipline, and a strong work ethic. Self-confidence, rather than hubris, allows you to see the distance between where you are now and your end goal. This gives you a better estimate of the time and effort needed to finish. It also allows you to internalize your progress and develop further confidence in your abilities.
  3. You’re less likely to be see as arrogant. People will take you and your skills seriously. They’ll place a confidence in you you deserve and trust you to succeed. The less arrogant you are the more likely you are to attribute group success to others. This promotes social trust and confidence in your ability to lead. Finally, you’ll mitigate the deluded self. It’s common for people to see themselves more favorably than others. And, to overestimate positive life outcomes for themselves compared to others.

Confidence that comes from self-measurement and respect is a real key to success. When we see ourselves clearly we reap a multitude of benefits. All of which lead to better life outcomes, most importantly happiness.


Remember Your Motivations, They Drive You

Motivation is a “part of popular culture as few other psychological concepts are”. Those are the words of Martin Maehr and Heather Meyer, spoken almost two decades ago. Since then the fervor to understand motivation has only increased. But for some perplexing reason, we still discuss motivation and our motives as though they’re a brand new topic.

We view motivation as a limited source of energy. We can’t start our list of errands or head to the gym because ‘we’re just not motivated’. But, this isn’t how motivation works. It comes from our motives, our reasons to change or act in the first place. Everything we do has a motive behind it, but we forget the importance when we aren’t focused. Even lounging around the house comes from our motivation to relaxation. When we need to work we don’t need divine intervention, we need better a better understanding of our reasons to act.

Your motives drive you
Motives Drive Action

Our focus on motivation as an external source impinges it’s effectiveness. This external view is called extrinsic motivation and it’s only a fraction of what motivates us. Extrinsic motivators, like money and recognition, are reasons to act thrust on you by others. Whereas intrinsic motivation stems from the delight and fascination with the activity itself. Almost all the work you do involves a mix of each. But, unless you’re completely aware of the why behind your actions you might end up assuming things about yourself that aren’t true.

Intrinsic motivation is internal, long-lasting, and self-sustaining, but slow to develop. It’s also far more subjective. Depending on the context this can be a positive or negative. These characteristics support positive habits and make it a pain to drop negative ones. Extrinsic motivators are short-term, restricted, quick fixes with broad impact. They may undermine intrinsic motivation and often require rewards to increase over time.

Within either type of motivation are the incentive and aversive salience attention modifiers. These properties regulate the intensity of your behavior.

When we discuss motivation, we focus on positive incentives. We want to know what we get out of acting or behaving in a certain way. In psychology this is called incentive salience or approach behavior. the two factors, wanting and liking, compose incentive salience. The wanting factor determines our desire to consume or attain. It shifts our focus from simple objects or outcome to one that occupies our attention. The liking portion is the immediate pleasure we get after consumption.

Influenced by perceived value and required effort both factors can vary over short periods of time. As we work through decisions motivation fluctuates, sometimes rapidly, entirely in the unconscious.

Other times we use our conscious mind to figure out the best possible outcome. Like, how we want to unwind for the weekend.

You’re stressed, you decide your best option for Friday night is to kick back with a bottle of wine. Your first glass is fantastic. A preferred brand, you’ve been looking forward to all week, and the taste is exceptional. It’s possible you’re even more eager for the second glass than the first. But, once your second is empty you’ve got to decide just how deep into the bottle you want to go. After all you’ve got a hike in the morning and it’s been awhile since you drank. After a quick appraisal the third glass seems less appealing. It’s incentive salience has decreased and your aversion to another glass has increased. You decide to cork the bottle. Better safe than sorry.

Aversive salience, the impact of alcohol in our example, that caused avoidant behavior. We weren’t demotivated to drink another glass, we had legitimate reasons not to. The effects were associated with an undesirable outcome.

It’s difficult to account for all the factors that ultimately drive us towards action or inaction. It’s this lack of understanding around our motivations that make it tricky to deal with. Of course it’s hard to get up and go to the gym; your home is comfortable, you want to relax, and the gym doesn’t seem fun. Each of these are powerful motivators detracting from hard work, they’re averse and need to be recognized.

When we fail to understand our reasons to act we’re easily swayed. Our attention shifts from one salient distraction to the next until we’re finally reminded of our task. At that point, it’s impossible to tell if we’ll get back on track.

To detail what we know about motivations impact on behavior Dan Ariely designed an experiment focused on the importance of meaning. In his experiment participants built Bionicles that were subsequently taken apart for later use. For each Bionicle built, participants earned a small amount. Completing the first netted 3 dollars, the second $2.70, the third $2.40, and so on until they either gave up or the amount paid out reached zero. This was dubbed the meaningful experiment.

In the second condition participants built the same models but the experimenters reused them each time. If they agreed to build another they received a second, but if they decided to build a third for $2.40 they were given the initial model to reconstruct. This was called the sisyphic condition after the Greek myth of Sisyphus. Punished for his hubris and forced to push a boulder up a hill only to have it roll down as he neared the peak. This condition was meant to emulate Sisyphus and his unending, meaningless work.

Meaningful and Sisyphic Motivation Choices
Different Models Can Break Motivation

In the meaningful condition individuals built 50 percent more models than the sisyphic. A staggering amount of effort for a small difference. These individuals weren’t changing the world or helping the impoverished, they played with toys for pocket change. There was no opportunity to ascribe meaning, but the differentiation mattered substantially.

In another version of the experiment nothing was built or paid for, participants only heard the description of each condition. They understood meaning is important. But, they underestimated the magnitude. They expected the meaningful condition to build 15 percent more, less than a third of the total amount.

Ariely didn’t stop with the first few experiments. He knew some participants were fond of Legos and wanted to understand how that would change their behavior. In the meaningful experiment attachment to Legos correlated with effort, but, in the sisyphic experiment, attachment was meaningless. In Ariely’s own words, “this manipulation of breaking things in front of people we basically crushed any joy they could get out of this activity. We… eliminated it.”

In his final experiment participants had intrinsic and extrinsic incentives, but a change in process sapped their motivation. What we perceive as motivating; joy, effort, and money, lose potency without meaning. Understand what your goals and actions mean to you before blindly chasing them.

Your motives decide the intensity and frequency surrounding your behaviors. If you want to stay motivated you need to understand what’s motivating you and what keeps you in place. Leverage this knowledge and make changes that facilitate your goals.

Further Reading:
Motivation is Meaningless

Procrastinate Your Way To Productivity!

Productive procrastination is the act of putting off primary goals to focus on minor errands. Usually the chores you’d dread doing any other day, but because you have some daunting task down the line, you’ll do anything to avoid it. You can use this state to your advantage. If your chores are piling up or you’ve been slouching on work, what better opportunity to get them done than avoiding more work.

One of my current goals is consistent writing. But unless I have structure during my work time I’m prone to forget about it. Even when I do remember it takes quite a bit for me to start writing. I tend to need motivation from finishing other work to dive in.

When it’s too difficult to write I don’t want to fall back on bad habits. This is where the procrastination piece comes in. Instead of opening up Facebook or Youtube I set my sights on my easiest task. Usually these are positive habits I’ve developed; reading a book, cleaning my room, or going to the gym. Though, on occasion I fall behind watching Game of Thrones and spend the evening catching up.

My process is similar to a to-do list. Yet, I don’t fret over what does and doesn’t make the list. It only needs to provide value in the short or long term. This includes, and sometimes mandates, rest and relaxation.

What I do instead of hard work has produced some of my favorite results. When I first started going to the gym I was hoping for recognition. I wanted to be fit and noticeable (admittedly by women). Now I go to start off my day right or clear my head. It’s the perfect time to listen to podcasts, meet like-minded people, and get energized. All with the added benefit of getting into shape.

I’d say the same about the time I’ve spent learning Excel. What started as one of the only things I could do at a monotonous job is now my primary source of income. I’ve landed jobs, created side projects, and boosted my productivity. These aren’t buzzwords you’d ever associate with endless hours on social media.

None of this would be possible without a well of motivation. That’s exactly what procrastination is. At least if you look at it the same way as famed humorist Robert Benchley.

While his peers described him as a tenacious writer during his tie as a freelancer in the 1920s. He often described himself as a loaf. The difference existed due to his unique perspective. While he knew how to get work done, it wasn’t always the right work.

“The secret of my incredible energy and efficiency in getting work done is a simple one,” he claimed. “The psychological principle is this: anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” Anyone who’s finished a surprising amount of arduous work to avoid another task knows how true this is.

Stanford philosophy professor John Perry is an avid procrastinator and hard worker. While he calls his process structured procrastination, the outline is interchangeable. He’s got quite a few strategies for getting stuff done outlined in this Business Insider article.

He offers some counterintuitive advice that feels like a major takeaway. When we’re faced with a major task we assume taking a whole day to focus on it is our best option. After all, with nothing else on our plate there’s no way we won’t finish.

This is flat out wrong. If you’re lacking time management skills well before a deadline you won’t have them in the final hour. Combined with the stress coming from an absence of resources, you’ll seldom do your best work.

When you cut down on other obligations you remove a source of motivation. If you’ve only got one thing to do, you won’t get anything else done. At least that’s the hope. In reality you’re still going to procrastinate. Meaning you’ll do a lot and accomplish little. Worst of all, if you fail to finish your one task you’ve blown a whole day. You’ll feel guilty over a wasted day and still need to find time to get things done.

It’s important to build a list of tasks to complete. The little victories you get from checking off assignments elicits substantial motivation. Even if you put off your most important task until the very end. You’ll have drive from earlier accomplishments to push through.

Defining your expectations and outcomes provides you a structure to work with. That’s exactly what we need when we procrastinate.

When you’ve got abstract goals it’s difficult to say whether you’re procrastinating or not. Dr. Pychyl at the University of Ottawa notes that our intention to do act decides if we’re procrastinating. During an interview with NPR he mentioned a crack running across his windshield,

“I don’t feel I’m procrastinating in getting it fixed because I’ve never set an intention and said, next Wednesday I’m going to get it fixed. Now once I set the intention and if I go past that date, then I’m truly procrastinating because for some reason, I thought that was the optimum time to act.”

He makes an important distinction between a failure to act and failure to form an intent. Sometimes we get intentions from outside sources, other times we pass it onto ourselves. When we discover that purpose we have a decision to make,

“… what are you going to do with your time?” John Perry asks, “Are you going to just sit on a couch feeling bad about not doing it? Then you’ll end up being both a procrastinator and very depressed.”

Further Reading:

Productive Procrastination is not an Oxymoron – Interview with John Perry

How to be a Productive Procrastinator – An NPR recording with John Perry and Timothy Pychyl

Use Procrastination to Get Things Done – Interview with John Perry

The Pomodoro Technique

What is the Pomodoro technique?

A time management technique, based on timeboxing, developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s.  The technique users a timer to breakdown work, normally into twenty-five minute chunks, separated by short breaks.

The six steps of pomodoro

  1. Choose a task to finish.
  2. Set the pomodoro timer (25 minutes to start)
  3. Work on the task until the timer rings. If a distraction pops into your head, write it down (it doesn’t matter where), but immediately get back on task.
  4. After the timer rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper or in one of the many app. (Links below!)
  5. If you have less than four checkmarks, take a short break (about 5 minutes), then go back to step 1. During this time, avoid work as best you can.
  6. If you’ve got more than four marks, take a longer break (20-30) minutes, then either start back over or end for the time being. Absolutely avoid work during this break.

Pivotal Stages

The stages of goal-setting, tracking, recording, revising, and visualizing are the foundations of the pomodoro technique.

In the planning phase, set each task for the day and prioritize them according to need. This sets the stage for tracking, recording, and visualization.

In order to plan properly you’ll need to estimate the number of pomodoro’s, 25 minute increments, you’ll need to complete your task. After each pomodoro you record your progress and take a short break.

At the start of the next set take a few minutes to revise the amount of work left over from the previous pomodoro and if that affects your tasks for the day.


Francesco was keen on keeping things low-tech. He felt like the actual turning of a timer meant a commitment by the user to see things through. I’ve only ever used the chrome extension, Pomodoro Timer. But writing in the task and starting feel pretty similar to winding up a timer. At least I imagine. So, either should work. Low-tech or “high”, it’s the process that counts.

When do I use it?

I only use time techniques when I need sustained, but shorts bursts of focus. I’ve never allocated more than three pomodoros because I usually want a longer break after an hour and half of work. While this violates the essence of the technique, it’s what works for me. I’d never advocate sticking to the rules if it’s ineffective for your work habits. (Even now, I’m typing during what should be a break.)

While Pomodoro hasn’t been a bulletproof solution for distraction and procrastination, I have been able to minimize the amount of wasted time I have each day. And I’m happy to spend those extra few minutes relaxing exactly how I want to, instead of losing it reading a wall of Facebook posts.

Stress & Long-term Goals

An argument with your significant other or extra traffic during your morning commute could be impacting your long-term goals more than you know. A research study from the University of Zurich demonstrated that even acute stress sabotages efforts of self-control.

Lead author Silvia Maeir noted that self-control is sensitive to agitation at multiple neural pathways, and that optimal self-control requires a precise balance of input from various regions of the brain, rather than a simple on/off switch. She emphasized that this work is only the beginning of understanding the complexity of underlying mechanisms.

The studies participants, who were chosen specifically for their eating habits, were tasked with dunking their hand in ice water directly prior to making a series of 70 dietary choices.

What habits qualified them for such a task? Each participant reported as attempting to be physically active and restrictive with their food intake, but frequently consumed junk food (my kindred spirit)

Over a three hour period the participants ran through two more sets of food options, for a total of 210 choices. This method allowed the researchers to measure levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, at different times. For the final trial of each set participants were made to eat their selection as a part of the experiment.

After reviewing the results Maeir and her team found that stress may impair the brain’s ability to make decision through two distinct avenues,

  1. One that relates to the characteristics of the stimulus. In this case, taste and smell.
  2. The other linked to goal design. In this case, diet restrictions

These results, coupled with previous work done by Hariri et al, furthers the idea that both the amygdala and the ventral striatum (part of the brains reward system) may be linked to the influence of stimuli on valuation and choice. The amygdala is behind instant reactions and choices, while the ventral striatum helps negotiate risk, reward, and decision making.

Maeir’s work went beyond showing how different areas of the brain interact with self-control in relation to goals.

Measures of participants perceived stress level (PSL) indicated that larger differences in taste often led to self-control failure. And, as PSL rose, participants had a harder time selecting the healthiest of choices compared to their low PSL peers.

Several studies have reached the conclusion that acute stress draws attention to the here and now. Understandable as the evolution of stress primed it’s function as a reaction to immediate danger or threats. In these moments our goal should be the removal of stressors. Often this would require additional effort and time we don’t have. It’s no wonder we end up giving into instant gratification without time to pause and reflect.