Procrastination vs. Akrasia
In the past I have written about procrastination and how I very much suffer from it. However, reading Josh Kaufman’s book The personal MBA I discovered the concept of Akrasia that I was still unaware of until this weekend. As I am hoping that I am not the only oblivious #careerlion, today ‘s blog will shine light on the definition of Akrasia, the difference with procrastination and the possibility of a cure.
Akrasia is old Greek for lacking command. It is the lack of self-control. Where one acts against their better judgement. Even though you know that doing something is in your best interest, you still don’t do it. Kaufman in his book The Personal MBA describes it as one of the most widespread and persistent barriers to get things done.
Akrasia vs. Procrastination
While Akrasia and procrastination are very much related, they apparently are by no means the same. When procrastinating, you decide that you are to complete a task, but you keep putting it off to a later moment. Leaving this later moment undecided. Meaning that you could be spending some valuable time Instagramming or watching Netflix while you were planning to do that very important task on your to do list.
Akrasia goes beyond procrastination. Where with procrastination you decided to do something and put it off, one hasn’t even really decided to complete the task. It is the feeling of “I should be doing…” as it is in your best interest, while never really taking any decision or action whatsoever. Akrasia usually occurs when someone wants to change their habits. Here are my personal ones: “I should eat less sugar/chocolate/cookies”, “I should lose weight”, “I should sleep more” and “I should watch less series”. I know it is in my best interest for sure, but I am not yet motivated enough to really take action. All of them require me to really change my current habits. Where I don’t yet see the immediate gratification yet basically.
No, there is no definitive cure yet. However, there are some facts that might make you feel better. Akrasia has literally been around for ages. The great philosophers already debated on the topic in the old days. If Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle can’t find a solution, then who are we right? Even though this is definitely the first thought crossing my mind, I would like to at least make an attempt.
Let’s all write down our lists of “I should be’s” and decide to take action. There is no harm is deciding to take control of your life. Who wants to actually have a bigger issue than procrastination? Being a procrastinator is worse enough. Are you with me? Let us know in the comment section below.