There’s a very unique, yet surely common feeling when you know that you need to focus and complete a task, but you feel a strong pull to check that new text. Or, in my case, you want to go eat that chocolate bar that you know you have in the cupboard. All of these distractions are an example of an escape to instant gratification. Because we KNOW we’ll get pleasure from them when the lack of progress on the task at hand is doing nothing but making us feel inadequate. As painful as it may seem at the time, if we learn to push those pleasures back until we complete the tasks, we will be much more happy in the long run.
Ability to delay gratification makes remarkable contributions to both GPA and SAT scores… Angela Duckworth found that GPA was better predicted by a persons ability to delay gratification than by their IQ. Since the discoveries linking self-control and academic outcomes, various findings also point to self-control as the key to the good life. People with higher levels of self-control have higher incomes, higher credit scores, better health, and better social skills from childhood to adulthood, and they report being happier with life.” -Matthew D. Lieberman (pg.206)