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Instant gratification is a very bad habit and can destroy one's ability to accomplish long term goals. It can be said that it is root of all evils.

It would be great if we can somehow avoid these temptations for instant gratification and keep moving on to reach our destination.

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This thread may be helpful. –  Stephan Kolassa Nov 16 '13 at 14:12

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Well, I think you first need some long term goals because in the case you don't have them, it shouldn't be a problem to search only instant gratification.

I'm also in this situation and I don't think it is a problem to seek for short term gratification: I usually subdivide my long term goals in short term ones, so I can search gratification and also work on long term projects.

I also keep track of what I did and what I have to do in the short and the long term, this helped me to start making this kind of long term toughts.

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Research indicates that people who give in to temptations have a problem visualizing future outcomes: What happens now is clear and concrete (candy is lying in front of you) while the future often is vague and fuzzy. The Marshmallow experiment showed the effects of this.

Scientists say treatments should involve de-emphasizing the present (making it more abstract) while building a concrete image of the future, for instance by visualising the negative effects of giving in to the temptations (obesity, bad health etc.).

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Hide temptation ("get thee behind me Satan!") for things which produce immediate outcomes.

I find that looking at a calendar motivates me to see the big picture and move towards deadlines. Check your calendar frequently.

Talking about what you need to do to get your deferred rewards tends to make it more "salient". Talk about it. You think about what you talk about.

Remove distractions. Sell your games. Disable accounts on systems which distract you. Turn off your phone. Break up with your demanding girl friend, and favor your less demanding friends.

Set strict time limits for fun and stick to them. If you have trouble with that, move your fun until after your work. If you have trouble with that quit your fun.

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Strick limits to fun sounds a lot like what a cartoon villain would say. –  Lucas Soares Aug 5 at 18:52

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