Procrastination: The Daily Habit of Postponing Your Own Life
People will always tell you how bad procrastination is before actually realizing why this happens. It’s a natural approach that people trust at the last minute.
It is about how they will continually agree to take on another task before finishing the previous one. This is not about responsibility and whether the person can complete tasks or not. It is about wanting to face a challenge and finishing more assignments than the person next to them.
This is a common scenario especially in the workplace where employees will compete to keep their jobs. Sometimes, the only way to do that is to take on more assignments and complete them faster.
Whether they were delivered in the last minutes or not, they take on more assignments just to impress their managers. Question from people whenever they push back a task another day or even another week. Sometimes a task that is due to the next day will be continually pushed because people keep shifting focus throughout the day.
The Brain Of A Procrastinator
This is because a battle between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex occurs in the brain. The limbic system controls the amount of pleasure and relaxation that a person will naturally feel. The prefrontal cortex controls the amount of planning that the mind must pass through.
Simply put, when a person chooses to push back a task for an hour or a day, the limbic system is taking over the prefrontal cortex. This situation usually occurs as people like to go through the constant cycle of waiting until the last minute.
The reason why the limbic system continues to be more controlled and dominate the prefrontal cortex is because it is one of the oldest and most dominant parts of the brain. This system runs automatically through the strengthening process more often than any other part of the brain.
It is one of the first systems that develop within the brain, responsible for keeping a person away from performing unpleasant actions. For example, when a child looks at a flame, he may be curious and want to touch it. The limbic system tells your brain not to touch the flame because it will hurt you. This system does not focus on the damage that would be inflicted, but the amount of pain that would be felt.
Compared with the limbic system, the prefrontal cortex is developed in a more advanced state. In science, this system is also known to be one of the weakest parts of the brain. The main feature of this part of the brain is that it runs through the stimulus than an automatic process.
People think that thoughts develop automatically in the prefrontal cortex, but it’s just the opposite. It is sitting just on the forehead and should be made to work for it to work. The moment a person sits down to work on a task and consumes time in continuing, he is telling his brain to continue working on the task rather than taking time.
This is a difficult thing to do especially when the limbic system continues to bribe the brain to relax at that moment. Even though relaxing little sounds good, the prefrontal cortex understands that the assignment must be completed for a certain time and, if not, the person will go through a certain punishment that will make life less relaxed. The sooner the due date for an assignment, the faster these two parts of the brain will negotiate to understand what actions should be taken.
The truth is that the action that leads to more relaxation tends to win each time. The closer a person approaches a due date, the more he begins to panic because he feels he can not relax so much.
The moment it is felt, it is easier to keep the prefrontal cortex engaged. It is easier to continue each task because it is understood that there will be more pain for longer the person expects. This is one of the few times that both sides of the brain win. The prefrontal cortex completes the task while the limbic system feels less pain.