"While writing this post, I will get bored. I will get tired of looking at these words and crave a distraction. And so I will click away from this page and head somewhere else, amusing myself with a totally irrelevant website. After a few lovely minutes of wasted time, my feelings of guilt will grow and I will find my way back here, to this sentence. Such are the moment-by-moment melodramas of work. It’s a constant cycle of intrinsic motivation battling against extrinsic tedium, persistence against pleasure. We know what we need to do. And yet, it’s always so much easier to do what we want to do.... A fascinating new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience led by Michael Treadway at Vanderbilt University begins to unpack the mystery. It’s a first draft of what happens in the brain as we choose between effort and indulgence, work and distraction."