Your Brain On Procrastination
Description: In this episode, Melissa and Maribeth (from ADD Professionals) discuss what happens inside our brains when we procrastinate.
In our podcast "Outsmarting Procrastination" we talked about how to become an "EX- procrastinator".
In this podcast, we are going to let you in on what actually happens inside the brain when we procrastinate. This stuff happens at a cellular level, and the better we understand how our brain works, the more WE can control it, rather than IT controlling us.
When we procrastinate, we are thinking of a task that is usually hard, dreaded, boring or threatening to our confidence in some way. It is not pleasant! So, when that awful thought happens, our amygdala interprets that thought as overwhelming – a threat!
When the amygdala senses a threat, it does three key things in 1/32 of a second:
3) It causes us to shallow breathe, causing every cell in our body to have too much CO2 - a poison.
- 1) It starts sending out signals that floods our system with adrenalin to prepare us to fight the threat or run quickly away to safety.
- 2) It shuts down the logic part of our brain because that part takes too long - 3 seconds - to engage.
In 1/32 of a second we become fearful and we can’t think! THAT is what procrastination really is. We are not just procrastinating, we are truly afraid! Think about it. Isn't that how you really feel when you are procrastinating? That is why staying calm and using the tools we reviewed in the podcast "Outsmarting Procrastination" really work!
When we actually…….
Write down a plan
Move past the plan to actually start the task
- •Break the task into small tasks
- •Allow for a margin of error
- •Set a timer for small units of time
- •Stick to the timer
- •Stop for breaks
- •Prevent distractions
- •Stop striving for perfection
- •Reward ourselves and
- •Use an accountability partner………...
we feel more in control and our amygdala does NOT go off. We can stay calm and logical – VERY productive!
So, next time you find yourself procrastinating, STOP! Pause for 3 seconds, and start using these tools to remain calm and productive. You can control the fear and procrastination, rather than IT controlling you.
You will quickly become an EX- procrastinator!