Dan Ariely says that humans are not wired for long-term thinking. In other words the desire to satisfy a immediate want will often outweigh a long-term goal (ice-cream cone now vs. weight loss or new jacket now vs. saving money). Think of the times you put off a meeting or a project for a few weeks or months because you didn’t have the time only to get to that date and wonder why you over extended yourself? This also explains why email becomes such a priority most days verses doing strategic work.
Many of our behaviors and decisions reflect our need for satisfying a near-term want. Fighting this innate desire makes long-term planning difficult. Even harder is executing on a long-term plan when little fires pop up every day that compel you to devote your precious attention to them.
Just knowing that we are hard wired to hyper-focus on the here and now may help us think about what we have to do to put a little more focus on the future.