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  • Foto del escritorYamil Senior

Why Do We Procrastinate? The Causes Behind Master Time Wasting.

Hey there, fellow master procrastinator. Are you reading this while masterfully avoiding that looming deadline? Don't worry, you're not alone and I won’t tell anyone.

Procrastination has become an art form for many of us, a dance with time and responsibility that we have practiced since the dawn of time.

But have you ever stopped to wonder why we procrastinate? Well, today we shall learn why we love to procrastinate so that you can hopefully learn to reduce it considerably or eliminate it from your life.

1. Procrastination: The Battle between Instant Gratification and Long-Term Goals

If you’ve been following me for a while you know I tend to say this a lot…

When it comes to your long-term plans and execution your brain is not your friend. It is not designed to help you win, it is designed to keep you alive. And in that sense, it would make sense that it would be very opportunistic.

This is why our brain loves instant gratification, why wait to have a rich fatty meal or risk going hungry? Your subconscious mind doesn’t know you can get as much food as you want with the push of a button, it still thinks you’re out in the woods foraging for berries.

Our modern world bombards us with distractions every second of the day! - social media, memes, funny cat videos, or the latest binge-worthy TV series. With so many delights just a click away, it's no wonder we find ourselves straying from the path of productivity.

Are you hungry? There’s an app for that. Are you bored? Here are 5,000+ movies and TV shows! Are you lonely? There’s an app to meet people! Are you horny? There are hours of free adult content and some in VR!

And the more time we spend on instant gratification the more we keep pushing back our dreams, goals, and aspirations.

2. Fear and Perfectionism: The Perfect Combination.

Just as your brain is wired to seek instant gratification it is also wired to avoid and run away from anything that could be potentially dangerous. Remember that your subconscious believes you’re out in the woods being chased by sabertooth tigers.

And as you may have heard, in any situation where you feel like you’re in danger, your body jumps into the infamous “fight or flight mode” (which should really be renamed to fight, flight, or freeze mode). This will cause some people to attack the problem inform of them (very few people fall under this category), run away from it or avoid it (Procrastinators), or do nothing at all (Master Procrastinators).

Fear is a powerful force. The fear of failure, of not meeting expectations or even the fear of success can all cause us to jump into this fight or flight mode. Combine this fear with a touch of perfectionism, and you've got a recipe for an Olympic-level procrastinator. We tell ourselves we're waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect idea, or the perfect set of circumstances. But in reality, we're often just stalling, scared of putting ourselves out there.

3. Task Overwhelm: The Snowball Effect

Ever looked at your to-do list and felt an overwhelming sense of dread wash over you? The sheer magnitude of tasks ahead can make us want to retreat to the comforting embrace of Netflix and a bag of fun-sized Snickers. When we feel swamped and unsure where to start, our brains seek solace in the familiar and the easy. We quickly forget all about our dreams of accomplishment and instead, choose the path of least resistance.

Our brain is also wired to avoid discomfort, particularly when it seems to be really prolonged because in a survival setting that could mean death. You can deal with some sun exposure for a couple of hours, but standing all day in direct sunlight could kill you.

So when your brain sees nothing but discomfort in its immediate future you will start to get a strong urge to just call in sick and binging on an entire season of Game of Thrones. And the more we put it off the bigger the list gets, thus the never-ending cycle begins.

4. Procrastination as a Stress Reliever

Believe it or not, procrastination can sometimes be our brain's way of dealing with stress. When faced with a daunting task or a stressful situation, we may find ourselves retreating into the cozy realm of procrastination. It becomes a temporary escape, a momentary relief from the pressure.

And it can be an effective way to relieve stress and blow off steam. The problem though, is that in order for it to qualify as procrastination it must happen at a time when you know you should be doing something else.

So, as I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this relief is short-lived and often followed by a boatload of guilt, which carries even more stress.

So What’s the Solution?

Once we have understood why we procrastinate we can then learn how to work with our brain instead of working against it. Most people’s immediate response is to try and force themselves to focus only to find themselves neck-deep in a human-sized rabbit hole of YouTube videos a few hours later.

Instant gratification, fear, perfectionism, task overwhelm, and stress relief all play their part in our procrastination dance. So the game now becomes finding ways to get instant gratification from your work, associating fear with not working, letting go of perfectionism, finding ways to make your tasks easier, and planning ways to relieve stress while working.

Don’t work against your brain, work with it, and you’ll win every time.

Let me know what you think in the comments and I’ll see you again soon.

Master your destiny and make this an amazing day.

Yamil Senior

PS. If you’re looking to have more information, as well as full support in completely eliminating procrastination from your life, click here to join our self-discipline master program.

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