What is Akrasia? Are You a Victim?

Research and Insights   •   Published on April 6, 2023

Have you ever found yourself setting a goal or making a plan, only to find yourself failing to follow through on it? Perhaps you told yourself you were going to start exercising regularly, or finally finish that project at work, but somehow, you just can’t seem to make it happen. If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing what’s known as akrasia.

The Akrasia Effect

Akrasia is a term used to describe the state of acting against one’s better judgment. It’s the phenomenon of knowing what you should do but finding yourself doing something else instead. You might also hear it referred to as “weakness of will” or “procrastination.” Essentially, akrasia occurs when we make plans or set goals, but then fail to follow through on them due to a lack of motivation or self-discipline.

It can be frustrating to have a plan in place but struggle to take the necessary actions to make it a reality. The akrasia effect can manifest in different ways, such as putting off important tasks, avoiding difficult decisions, or neglecting personal goals.

The concept of akrasia has been around for thousands of years, and it has been explored by philosophers, psychologists, and scientists alike. In fact, the Greek philosopher Aristotle was one of the first to write about akrasia, arguing that it arises when we give in to short-term pleasures at the expense of our long-term goals. Today, research in psychology and behavioral economics has shed light on the underlying causes of akrasia and offered strategies for overcoming it.

Causes of Akrasia

Akrasia can have many different causes, ranging from psychological factors to external influences. Some common factors that can contribute to akrasia include:

  • Psychological Factors: Low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression can all contribute to akrasia. When we don’t feel confident in our abilities or feel overwhelmed by a task, we may avoid it altogether.
  • External Factors: Distractions, lack of support, and competing priorities can also contribute to akrasia. If we are constantly interrupted by emails, phone calls, or other distractions, it can be hard to stay focused on our goals.

One reason we might experience akrasia is because we are overly optimistic about our abilities to complete a task. We set unrealistic goals or underestimate the amount of time and effort it will take to achieve them. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm or discouragement, which in turn can make us less likely to take action. Additionally, our brains are wired to prioritize short-term rewards over long-term benefits, which means that we are often more motivated by immediate gratification than by delayed rewards.

How to Overcome Akrasia? 

The first step is to acknowledge that it is a common problem that affects many people. You are not alone in struggling to follow through on your goals. Once you’ve accepted this, you can begin to take action to overcome akrasia.

One effective strategy is to break down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. Rather than trying to tackle a big project all at once, break it down into smaller steps and focus on completing one step at a time. This can make the task feel less daunting and help you build momentum.

Another helpful approach is to use external motivation to keep you on track. For example, you might enlist the help of a friend or family member to hold you accountable for your progress. Alternatively, you might set up a reward system for yourself, where you get a treat or a break after completing a certain number of tasks.

Find Your Next Inspiration at GO Bermondsey

Are you tired of working from home or just wondering if you could be the next victim of Akrasia? Look no further than GO Bermondsey, the premium coworking space in London. With a convenient location and top-notch amenities, GO Bermondsey offers a range of options to suit your needs – whether you need a private office to focus or an open-plan space to collaborate.

But it’s not just about the physical space. GO Bermondsey is home to a community of like-minded individuals who are there to support each other and help your business grow. From networking events to collaboration opportunities, you’ll have access to a wealth of resources that will take your business to the next level.

Don’t just take our word for it – book a tour today and see for yourself why GO Bermondsey is the hottest coworking space London. Get ready to be inspired and take your business to new heights in this dynamic and innovative workspace.