When your brain is overwhelmed with things to keep track of, science has proven that we make increasingly emotional choices.
You are trying very hard to remember a 7 digit number when someone offers you a choice of snacks. One is a yummy chocolate cake, the other is tasty and healthy fruit salad. You are 30% more likely to succumb to you MMMCAKE reflex.
If you are trying to remember a simple 2 digit number when faced with the same choice, you will come to a much more rational decision. Most people will choose the fruit.
I learned this listening to NC's Radiolab and it got me thinking...
At any point in the day, you could describe my state as "recently distracted". I tend to juggle lots of thoughts and plans. How often does this mental state lead me to choose the metaphorical cake?