Instant gratification is the enemy of hard work and the development of perseverance. By forcing yourself to wait when you feel an urge for something easy — like an unhealthy snack or a shortcut that will affect your work — you can give yourself the opportunity to make the better choice.
Photo by Yedda Team
Leo Babauta at Zenhabits explains that, yes, life is meant to be enjoyed, but it's also not meant to be wasted. Instant gratification is the way of no limits and no restraints. It can lead to poor habits, financial trouble, and our greatest enemy: laziness. Babauta suggests that you always know the right decision, but that you need to give yourself a moment to see it:
Instead of acting on the urge right when it arises, pause. Don't act right away. Put some space between the urge and your action. Let your heartbeat return to normal, your breathing become a bit deeper. Calm down.
By stepping away from that urge to take the easy route, you'll become stronger and make better, more conscious decisions.