If you are reading this you probably are ( just like me) a, what I like to call, ” delayer”. I delay things until I have 282934624 things to take care of in less than one hour. At first, I thought I am just a very lazy person, then I thought I am not organized. I organized myself but still, some days there are things that I just postpone. I am not a native English speaker so when I came across the word procrastination I had to google what does it means and ” what is the difference between procrastination and laziness ” which is how I came upon these definitions.
” To procrastinate – from the Latin cras, ‘tomorrow’ – is to postpone one task in favor of another or others which are perceived as being easier or more pleasurable but which are typically less important or urgent.”
” Laziness (also known as indolence) is the disinclination to an activity or exertion despite having the ability to act or exert oneself.”
So it’s not laziness. I know laziness haha. It’s procrastination. And believe me, I know how hard it can get, how you can drown in it and in the feelings of guiltiness that come with it. So why do we procrastinate?
Is it because of a fear of success or failure, or because of an aversion to discomfort or maybe because you want everything to be perfect so you are just waiting for that perfect moment to start, which by the way will never come. Where does procrastination come from? Is it a product of a flawed character? And what can we do to work through it?
Luckily for us, the delayers, scientists are finally finding that procrastination is not the product of a flawed character, rather it may be hardwired into some people’s brains. The findings of the study which was conducted by Caroline Schluter come from brain scans of 264 men and women with ages between 18 and 35. Schluter is a research assistant in the department of biopsychology at Ruhr-University Bochum in Bochum, Germany.
The MRIs showed that a brain region involved in motivation tends to be larger among the people who procrastinate, while communication between that part of the brain and another involved in taking action appeared to be weaker.
The scan also revealed that people with poor action control tend to have a larger amygdala, a region of the brain that deals with regulating emotions and motivation.
She said, ” it’s possible that people with larger amygdalas may be more anxious about the negative consequences of an action, which might lead to hesitancy and procrastination”.
So now that we know where it’s coming from, what we, the procrastinators with big amygdalas possibly do?
To begin with, this study is the first to scan the brain to identify a neural basis for procrastination. “That means much more research will be needed to understand brain dynamics before considering how to help those with an inborn tendency towards procrastinating,” Dr. Kenneth Heilman ( fellow of the American Academy of Neurology) says. He adds on by specifying that “brain development is dependent on nature and nurture.”
Personally, I use Reminders to remember those things that I forget about because I don’t really enjoy doing them. It works for me, especially if I develop a routine and a habit out of doing them daily. Yes, I used to put a reminder to remind me that I need to do laundry more than once a week! Also what has helped me a lot is what I like to call a TTP ( top three priority list). I write down on a piece of paper or my phone what I really need to accomplish today, like the most important 3 things that I need to do. It really works!
Have a productive day, dear reader!