Thursday, October 13, 2011

Procrastination and Health

One of the constant themes in Willpower is the fact that willpower is depleted when a person's glucose level gets too low. Baumeister's lab tests involve giving people sugar-filled drinks to boost their glucose levels quickly to help with the study results. Outside of a lab, he suggests "it's better to use protein. Get some healthy food into your body, wait an hour, and then the decision won't seem so overwhelming" (p. 247).  

Baumeister also reviews studies done on the health of extreme procrastinators. At the beginning of the studies, the procrastinators were healthier than the non-procrastinators, but the situation reversed as deadlines approached (p. 242-3). Interestingly enough, procrastination has increased over the last four decades, and about 20% of the international population describes itself as procrastinators (p.240).

Many hoarders have kitchens so cluttered that they cannot cook or eat in them. This would definitely impact their ability to eat healthy food as most takeout (in my experience) is considerably less healthy than what people cook at home. As such, hoarders through cluttering may have created situations that acerbate their inability to decide what to discard. If the hoarder views him/herself as a procrastinator, this could affect his/her health, which would once again affect decision-making. If you know that you have trouble making decisions, and putting them off is affecting your health, the lack of energy may cause you to put them off even further.

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