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The Risks of Hesitation

Tim Urban’s Talk on Procrastination Explores Long and Short-Term Goals

— March 16, 2016 — Keynote Trends
In this intelligent and humorous talk on procrastination, Tim Urban reveals the three portions of the human psyche that alter one’s ability to reach goals. Urban believes that the three key characteristics contributing to hesitation are “instant gratification, hard work and panic.”

Urban develops a metaphor to explain that instant gratification is a monkey that lives in the human mind and focuses on having fun in the moment -- with no regard for the past or future. This method certainly applies to the animal kingdom, but our human evolution encourages hard work and doing things that aren't purely entertaining. These two portions of the human psyche often overlap and the reason many people are able to reach short-term goals is due to sheer panic.

During his talk on procrastination, Urban states that this act is either derived from short-term goals that are contained by deadlines, or from dreams that have infinite lifespans. He suggests that long-term procrastination is difficult to address because people don’t realize they are postponing anything. When there is no deadline, people aren’t frustrated because they can’t achieve their dreams, but because they haven’t even started chasing them.