A recent study suggests that procrastination could be a result of how our brains are wired. According to an article in the BBC, Procrastination is all pretty much in the mind of the person.
The article quotes a study which has identified two areas of the brain that determine whether we are more likely to get on with a task or continually put it off.
Researchers used a survey and scans of 264 people’s brains to measure how proactive they were to analyze the reasons for procrastinating. Rather than being about managing time, procrastination is actually about managing emotions, according to experts.
According to the study, it was found that the amygdala – an almond-shaped structure in the temporal lobe which processes our emotions and controls our motivation – was larger in procrastinators. Similarly, there were also poorer connections between the amygdala and a part of the brain called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (DACC).
“Individuals with a larger amygdala may be more anxious about the negative consequences of an action – they tend to hesitate and put off things,” one of the authors of the study said.
This basically means that those with larger amygdale think of the consequences of procrastinating, while others don’t and let their emotions take over.
“This study provides physiological evidence of the problem procrastinators have with emotional control,” experts said. Activities like mindfulness meditation is said to help this problem according to doctors. This provides proof that changing the brain is possible and that the brain of a person changes during their lifespan.
Here are some top tips for procrastinators:
Understand why you are procrastinating. Sometimes it is easy to identify the underlying reason while other times it may be hard, but if you can understand why you are putting off a certain task, it can help you tackle it better.
Writing down your goal can help you achieve them. Keep a daily ‘To-Do’ list that will help you keep track of all your tasks. Use a timer to complete tasks in time and schedule breaks so you don’t end up zoning out or taking a longer than necessary break.
Find out your cause of distraction and deal with it. Putting away your phone can help you get a lot of work done without distractions. If you find you are distracted if there is music playing in the background, they turn off the music.
Prioritize – Sometimes people feel they are very busy and they are. However, they fail to get important work done in time. Prioritizing the tasks at hand is very important and can be the reason many people finish tasks earlier than others doing the same task.
Sometimes you can be very hard on yourself, don’t punish yourself for procrastinating but rather tell yourself the benefits of getting the tasks done early next time.
Breaking down the work into smaller chunks can be a good way to avoid procrastination. Keep a timer running for 10-15 minutes depending on the task and work till the timer is running and then allow yourself to take a short break before setting up the timer for the next task.
Start off your day with the most daunting task, that way you will feel like you have already achieved a lot when you complete that task.
Perfectionists can sometimes have a hard time getting started. Tell yourself the goal is to get the task done not to have a perfectly executed task.
Plan a reward that you will give yourself when the task is completed. It could be proportionate to the task and can be anything from a glass of cold milk, a walk in the park to some flowers or chocolate. Incentives are a great way to avoid procrastination.
Stay organized and have all information related to your tasks written down or saved somewhere so you can refer to it quickly.
We hope our tips will help you stop procrastinating and start working.