Instant Gratification – Immediate Gratification Definition

What does instant gratification mean?

Either you are a freelancer or a day job worker, there is the chance that you hear about instant gratification.

What is Instant gratification?
Instant gratification or instant pleasure or Immediate Gratification is the temptation to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay. Instant gratification is a bad habit where a person looking for immediate pleasure instead of a better return in the future.

Do you desire to experience pleasure without any deferment or delay? Yes, I know, usually, everybody thirsts to experience a state of instant pleasure, rather than waiting for it… That is very normal and natural. It is the basic instinct of human beings. Generally, whenever you desire something, you like to have it immediately.

Why do we want instant gratification?

Whenever you wish or ask for something to have in the life span, you also want them immediately. You feel discomfort psychologically if you don’t get the things instantly there and then ask for. This psychosomatic anxiety is closely linked with self-denial.

Naturally, a human being’s instinct is to snatch the reward as soon as possible, and it is hard to resist this instinct. People are born with the strongest desire for instantaneous rewards or compensation.

Is instant gratification bad?

There is nothing wrong with it; if you want something to be done on time, nothing bad in experiencing pleasure without delay, nothing wrong to have anything you need or desire right now without any delay. My dear reader, you are required to understand that the balance between your desires and a realistic or logical sense of timing and patience is an essential aspect of a peaceful and productive life.

In a nutshell, you need to know that instant gratification behavior can cause several issues that sometimes go beyond your control. These issues may lead to very negative and harmful outcomes, for instance, a distraction from major goals and meaningful pursuits, destructive and social, and financial health.

Instant gratification may affect the brain!

You might be known! How the brain function?

Our brain reacts positively to instant pleasure or gratification. Our brain has two-part like the emotional part and the logical part. Impulsive choices used to have happened when the emotional part of the brain coups over the logical part. The emotional part of the brain takes over when you get closed to get a reward.

There could be a long list of issues that arise to emphasize instant gratification over delayed gratification. Let’s discuss a few of the major ones.

Effects of Instant gratification that may harm!

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Diminished Span of Attention

Generally, we all are tuned to have everything instantly. I am not aware of others, but I have since purchased my new smartphone a few years back. I felt the change because I started feeling difficult and boring while watching a small ad and even a short article reading.

You might have come across while watching videos on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms. You might have noticed that while scrolling, if any feed does not capture your attention in a quick short time, then you may move forward quickly. My first instinct was to close very swiftly if an ad pops up in the middle of a Facebook or YouTube video. I don’t want adverts to spoil my continuity, no matter how tiny it is. Sometimes, you may miss something significant on the way because of this kind of behavior.

Lack of Focus

Obviously, whenever you are habituated to get quicker results with minimal time and effort, you start losing focus and learning new skills. Once you are tuned not to delay gratifications, your brain sends signals to you to be a beginner again of something naïve. Your brain may start screaming at you if you focus on something that, in return, will give nothing. When you try to focus intently on a hobby or skill and don’t get anything in return, your brain will start screaming at you.

Dropping Interest in Passions

Once you are a passionate person, you can do anything of your interest. However, when your behavior is to have instant gratification, you may start losing interest in such activities of your passion. Let me tell you the real reason behind that! Whatever you plan to do or what to achieve, the results are supposed to come like 1-2-3; these will take a due course of time that is normal and natural. You will have to show patience and wait for the good results to come. Otherwise, you may get frustrated and may think to quit.

I will discuss a few examples that will determine, either you hold instant gratification behavior or not. So, GET Ready!

Do you wasting time on any social media platform!

It will be exciting to know how much time you spend on your beautiful smartphone. Are you daily surfing over the news feed of social media platforms like Instagram, looking out pictures, jokes, social or personal messages what your friends shared or tagged, posting stories regarding fun-loving moments? How many times and for how much time you look at and hold your smartphone for such activities as discussed above. Now you can calculate how much time you were productive while holding a smartphone and engaged with it. It seems to be very pertinent in youth, whose brought-up is in social media culture.

Did you realize that how come this time can be consumed for anything more fruitful? The current happy-feeling state influences you to keep surfing and scrolling on the smartphone.

Snoozing – Do you know what does it mean?

Unfortunately, we all are victims of this snoozing habit. You set the alarm on your smartphone to get up in the morning. Do you plan every day to wake up early in the morning, but when your phone rings in the morning, you know well what you do? Almost everybody does that; you pau your alarm on snooze for 5 or 10 minutes.  Realize for a moment, 10 minutes of snooze daily will end up 300 minutes a month and 3600 minutes in a year. How much time you have wasted so far from your life. This time can be consumed for some productive activities that may help you to be different from others in a very positive manner. This usually happens because of your instant gratification behavior because you were unable to delay gratification.  All of your plans fly throughout the window. Don’t forget the comfort and pleasure of a little extra sleep offsets the plan that may give you more gratification in the future.

Eating junk

You know the importance of a balanced diet and ideal weight. Ideal body weight and good dietary habits help keep you healthy, energetic, fresh, and more attractive to the opposite sex.

But, when you are at any restaurant, a mighty zinger burger with melting cheese and a pitcher of cola change your brain in the opposite direction. Sometimes, you say it is a cheating day you could not delay gratification or with an instant gratification behavior.

Skipping workout

What impact will it make if I skip one day of the gym? “I will join the gym tomorrow.” This kind of thought comes in when the alarm bell rings in the morning; then, you are supposed to prepare for a workout in the gym. You follow your thoughts because our behavior is based on our thoughts. The comfort and pleasure of not joining a gym today are because of not delaying gratification.

Working on urgent tasks

Do remember your habits!

When you receive a prompting message that appears while you are doing something significant at work, for instance, improving current or acquiring a new skill, that popped up messages kidnaps your attention by screaming like click me, click me” I have something that is not important. Still, could you check me out?

Every day’s tasks or activities take superiority over the long-term future goalmouths you are intended to achieve.

Spending time on entertainment

We are used to having entertainment for a joyful and relaxed life. Entertainment offers happiness and satisfaction. Some people use their smartphones for YouTube videos, and some watch movies or serials on Netflix, for example. Most of the time, when you finish one episode, your brain compels you to watch another episode, then you end and start feeling appetite. Now you start thinking about ordering home delivery of food. After placing an order, you again start watching another episode while waiting for food delivery to arrive. You spend more time on entertainment rather than on other productive tasks. This is all because of your laziness, or you may be unable to delay gratification for the next time.

Spending more rather than saving

You plan and attempt to save some amount of money every month instead of throwing all of your income into buying the kinds of stuff you need. At the end of the month, when you come across a bank account statement, you get shocked and promise with yourself not to spend from this month now. But this gets repeated, and your unexpected expenses derail your budget. What’s hilarious is it occurs every month.

If you are determined to delay your gratification, then you can reduce the number of visits to restaurants for dinner or lunch and withhold yourself from impulsive buying.

Paying a loan to buy a fancy item

Usually, you apply for loans from banks or somewhere else to purchase costly but fancy items that you cannot afford. You may not require these fancy items as an urgent item. If you think of buying a house on a mortgage, it is not a bad idea because such assets are appreciated as time passes and value goes up. Whereas buying a new and expensive car on loan from the bank may not be a good idea. It is better to go for a cheaper option. The simple formula you can apply, for instance, if your income increases by 40%, then you are justified to go far a car 40 % more costly. You are required to analyze that your income gets increased, but savings don’t.

Discount sales

It is exciting when you are your wife (if married) come to know a big billion sales, then you both stand up on your toes, waiting anxiously, for that big day to come.

Is that true?

When that day comes, you start roaming through all possible deals, adding more items into your cart. You start feeling excited that you have saved hundreds of dollars in buying goods on sales. There is no doubt, the total amount of dollars you spent on the items will be far less than the actual price. Now, if you look back on your items one by one, then you will be amazed. You may notice that the items you have purchased may not be needed the most. The pleasure of ordering somewhat for yourself on a discount provides you instant gratification moreover saving money.

How to avoid instant gratification?

You are not required to avoid all cases and situations of instant gratification bias. From time to time, you are needed to experience the pleasure that gets originated out of it. For you, the important thing is to ensure the balance, where you won’t let instant gratification win in any decision you take. To avoid the negative outcomes of instant gratification addictions, the following steps can be taken into consideration.

Be aware of the sources of distraction.

If you plan to interact with your smartphone on a periodical basis in a day, then you can avoid distractions as I check my cellphone only 3-4 times during the day for WhatsApp or other social media news feed, not whenever it beeps. I found this idea quite doable and fruitful.

You will notice that it is easy and simple to repel the craving if you do not encounter such temptations. You may feel difficult at the start, but gradually, you will be at the edge of success.

Know your behavioral patterns

People have different behavioral patterns and urge. Some people’s urge gets triggered, maybe, into buying something when it comes to sales or discounts, good-looking clothing, a large bowl of ice-cream or home appliances as my urge gets triggered to visit a flea market for used (electronics) items. This is my area of great instant gratification. You must know your instant gratification area, and the most shared instant gratification areas are; Shopping, Social Media, Sex, Wasting time, Food, or Entertainment. If you think you are facing the same, then avoid the temptation itself.

Set some rules for yourself

There is no doubt that you will have a list of something to start and something to stop doing. You are required first to set well-defined but simple rules for yourself to avoid the negative outcomes of instant gratification, then follow with real letter and spirit. For instance;

  • Dinning outside home only once a week
  • Spending not above X on any item (discount sale)
  • Interact with my phone only 4 times a day for the social media newsfeed

As modest as these rules sound, setting them properly will make all the difference. 

Now it’s your turn

In today’s world, Instant gratification affects everybody. Now you are familiar with the negative consequences of instant gratification addiction. You can take back control over yourself.


The instant gratification pattern is a simple method of procrastination daily. It will be your style of inhibiting yourself from doing what you know you should. Choking instant gratification addiction is not a difficult task that is beyond your control. Whatever seems to be simple to do, but at the same time is also very simple to not do. This is going to be your choice now, whether you opt to overcome the destructive effects of instant gratification addiction or surrender to the craving.


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