The Atlantic

Why People Wait 10 Days to Do Something That Takes 10 Minutes

Chores are the worst.
Source: John M Lund / Getty

I’m trying to construct an alternative theory of myself in which I’m a tidy person. It’s not going well. Walking my recycling from my apartment to the trash room down the hall takes me anywhere from two minutes to a month. I hate looking at broken-down boxes and empty LaCroix cans in my apartment, but studies say humans are bad at prioritizing long-term goals over instant gratification, and I apparently find doing anything else much more gratifying.

It doesn’t take a scientist to explain why I might put off other things, such as doing my dishes. Those are annoying and kind of gross, and the primary reward is just being able to use

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