Tackling procrastination more fundamentally
Actually, I didn’t want to write about procrastination. I think procrastination is a chewed-up concept. Many experts have explained procrastination very well. However, I came to an insight from the brain&mind approach® that motivated me to write an article about procrastination. We need to deal with procrastination in a different way than often claimed.
Tips won’t overcome it.
Many times, procrastination is attacked by giving tips. One tip is to cut your task into several smaller tasks. Other tips are setting deadlines or being nice to yourself. Tips are fine, but they don’t change your behavior sustainably. Procrastination means you are not the boss, but your brain is the boss. There is more to procrastination than meets the eye. Therefore tips are not the solution.
What is procrastination?
Pro means before, and crastinus means “of tomorrow, what tomorrow will be.” It is voluntary to put off a decision or task until tomorrow, even though you know it may have negative consequences. This seems very counterintuitive; why would we do something that affects our productivity and well-being? We are doing something that is not helping us at all! From the knowledge of how the brain works, this is perfectly explainable.
The brain and procrastination
Are you aware that two main characters talk to each other when you procrastinate? A protagonist who wants to work and get the job done, and a protagonist who is guided by habits and emotions. We call this within the brain&mind approach® the mindset of the internal leader and the follower’s mindset. The mindset of the internal leader wants to achieve something, and the follower’s mindset likes the status quo. This protagonist does not like stress and tension and prefers to be guided by comfort.
These two mindsets are in a battle. The follower is fed more by the sabotaging limbic system and the internal leader by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). When the internal leader is driving your prefrontal cortex, the PFC says, “it is really important that you do this task now. “Then the limbic system sends an impulse. This impulse is either an emotional impulse, and the follower says, “I really don’t feel like it, I have more fun things to do,” or an impulse based on your habits: “I’ve never done it before, I’ll never succeed.”
Dealing with procrastination
So fundamentally, dealing with procrastination has everything to do with learning to manage your brain. Not the brain is the boss, but you are the boss. The science-based brain&mind approach® teaches you to be the boss. Let the limbic system do what it should: use emotions and feelings for your development and not as an obstacle. This approach also teaches you to use your prefrontal cortex by allowing it to be driven primarily by the mindset of the internal leader.
Try looking at procrastination in connection with your personal development. See it as an indication that the mindset of the internal leader and the mindset of the follower are not working together sufficiently. The follower wins over the internal leader. You can easily change this, which will also cause changes in other areas. You will become a more powerful and focused person.