Impulse Control

Whenever I feel a spontaneous urge to do something educational or otherwise beneficial for myself (like learning about a programming language, or reviewing a historical event), I do it. If I’m in the middle of something that can wait, I drop everything and satisfy the urge. If I’m in the middle of something that can’t wait, I make a mental or physical note of the urge and hope the urge remains after I finish my current activity. These urges, when educational in nature, will clearly lead to a more satisfying life for me. I like knowing stuff.

I do have a serious problem with procrastination however, which requires that I focus intently to prevent distractions. Even then, say I’m writing an essay about technology and I realize I don’t recall or never learned how a particular device works, and my curiosity is piqued. Which would have greater net benefit: my completing the essay with time to spare, but possibly with the urge to know faded away, or to succumb to the fickle whims of my mind (a harsh taskmaster) and finish with a hasty conclusion before class?

I need to learn to postpone yet preserve this urge when working on something as critical as schoolwork while on a strict deadline. But when there is time to spare, such as the weekend or a break, I am certain my knowledge of some technology or a quick brushing up of some piece of math will lead to a more satisfying life than whatever mundane thing I might spend time on after completing the piece of schoolwork.

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