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lukeprog comments on How to Beat Procrastination - Less Wrong

156 Post author: lukeprog 05 February 2011 06:49PM

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Comment author: lukeprog 05 February 2011 07:33:58PM 4 points [-]

I completely agree. This is one of many things that I skipped over in order to keep this article shorter than an entire book. Breaking a task into subgoals, and rewarding oneself for the accomplishment of each subgoal, is something I suspect would be effective, precisely because it moderates the effect of delay on motivation.

Comment author: lsparrish 05 February 2011 08:50:20PM 3 points [-]

Come to think of it, breaking something into subgoals is likely to increase value (higher reward frequency, lower dread per goal), increase expectancy (smaller tasks are easier to envision oneself accomplishing), and decrease impulsiveness (since one is less likely to get distracted from smaller goals).

The disadvantage is having more total goals to keep track of, which can itself be a source of problems. There is probably a point at which there is a trade-off between having too many goals to keep track of and having goals which are too easily procrastinated. This could be a reason why writing things down helps some people, as it reduces the working-memory barrier to generating more numerous sub-goals.