Stop Procrastinating – Procrastination Kills Motivation
We all have a tendency to procrastinate over one thing or another and there is a scientific explanation as to why people do that. The good news is that there is a way to stop procrastinating and avoid killing your motivation. So, set aside your arguments and…excuses and read the following article first.
Why Do Some People Procrastinate More than Others
Scientists reveal that dopamine is one reason why we all have a biological tendency to procrastinate. When individuals procrastinate and choose to do things other than what really needs to be done, it can result in a release of dopamine which is a “feel-good” hormone.
When people procrastinate, a battle between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex is taking place. Procrastination occurs when the limbic system, which serves as the pleasure center, wins against the prefrontal cortex which functions as the internal planner. The limbic system functions in an automatic manner.
This is why if you need to pull away your hands from the flame or avoid unpleasant tasks you can do so right away because the limbic system immediately allows you to choose the “instant mood repair” option.
This served our ancestors well, as those who were cautious survived (to become our ancestors) while those who were less cautious perished, possibly eaten. One of the biggest roles of our subconscious mind is simply to keep us safe and alive. It tries to keep us in our comfort zone. From the perspective of our subconscious mind, this also our safety zone. The best way to force ourselves out of our comfort zone and into a more success driven mindset is to stop procrastinating.
Today, this survival mechanism works against us as far as achieving our goals. Unless we mindfully and proactively push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, it is very easy to be lulled and comforted into feeling safe, secure and “not pushed”.
However, in this mind space there is little or no room for growth or improvement. Success in any area comes from stretching our own self-defined boundaries. Procrastination is simply a name for what is holding us back. It is a broad term for many situations, where we avoid what we know we should be doing and replace it with something else. Finding a way to Stop Procrastinating and breaking that cycle is the key to becoming more productive.
This is not to say we are lazy or not busy, as we can be masters at keeping ourselves busy rationalizing our behaviors, and continually finding things to do, anything, that we can blame for us not doing what really needs to be done.
On the contrary, the prefrontal cortex of the brain does not function in an automatic manner since this part of the brain requires conscious thought and effort. It works to integrate information needed for making decisions – the part that differentiates human beings from animals. And since it does not work automatically people need to exert an effort for it to function.
Successful people are generally those who are prepared to put in the mental and emotional “work” to push past their procrastination, while others may be happy allow their automatic processes to guide their behaviors. This is certainly easier, but the rewards are fewer.
Defeat Procrastination with the Two-Minute Rule
This two-minute rule helps you to get done what needs to be done by giving yourself the chance to do it in two minutes. According to David Allen, the author of the best-selling book titled Getting Things Done, this two-minute rule helps people overcome their natural inertia by making it easier for them to take action, so easy that it is hard to say no to the task (even to themselves).
He said that there are too many things that people tend to put off doing that can actually be completed in two minutes. Some of these things that can be completed in two minutes include washing the dishes right away after eating, picking up the clutter on the floor, throwing the garbage, etc.
But, how about those tasks that cannot be completed in two minutes? David Allen says every goal, no matter how grand it may seem can at least be started in two minutes or less. The important thing is to get physics to work to overcome the natural tendency to avoid starting.
Newton’s Law of Motion
Remember Isaac Newton? He was the one who said that objects at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. The two-minute rule of David Allen works for one reason – the inertia of life. Thus, once you begin working on a task it becomes easier to just continue doing it.
As the law of motion suggests, objects have the tendency to keep on doing what they are doing and the same is very true of human behavior. Once you follow this rule you will sooner or later realize that good things happen, if you just allow yourself to start making it happen.
The best way to Stop Procrastinating is to start working on the task. It is more of consistently making things happen even if it means doing it in smaller chunks. After all, the road to success starts at taking small steps- the kind that when accumulated can all contribute to that grand goal that lies ahead.
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