Procrastinating on those taxes? Blame your genes

Los Angeles Times:

New research suggests the Internal Revenue Service should expand the list of acceptable explanations for procrastinators’ yearly extension requests and late tax filings. Two possibilities: “I was born this way” and “failure to evolve.”

Procrastination, suggests a new study, is an evolved trait that likely served humans well in a time when finding food and water and fending off prey were job one. For man in the state of nature, pondering lofty goals for an indistinct future was sure to result in an early demise.

The inclination to defer unpleasant but necessary tasks appears to coexist intimately with the trait of impulsiveness. After all, before complex societies made a virtue of timely tax preparation, completed homework and avoidance of fattening foods, bold initiative was a good thing. Acting on impulse was more likely to get one fed and spread one’s genetic material than was careful planning and an unwavering dedication to meeting deadlines and looking good at the next reunion.

Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

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