The psychology behind procrastination
The psychological side behind eat now, study later.
March 9, 2020
We all procrastinate, and we all are aware of it, yet we refuse to do something about it. Why is it so hard for us to find the motivation to get things done? Is it because we are being lazy? Is it because we don’t want to fail? The cause behind why we procrastinate is actually all in our heads, literally- it’s our brains.
I talked to Donald Pippin, the IB Psychology teacher, and he told me some very interesting things, some hard to swallow because of how much they relate to me.
Our brains are wired to make things as easy as possible. Have you ever heard the point a to point b metaphor? Well, it’s true. Our brain wants to take the fastest route from point a to point b: a straight line. So, if we think something is too boring, too hard or too long, we will immediately not want to do it because a straight line isn’t an option. There will be thinking involved and that’s why we convince ourselves that we will do it later, when in reality, we won’t.
If something is too long, it’s boring. If its too short, it’s unimportant. Why spend time thinking about things when you can mindlessly please your brain instead? So, have an essay to write, but also have hours of social media scrolling that has to be done? Guess which one is coming first.
However, there are some people who are an exception to procrastination- people who start their homework as soon as they get home, use every minute they have to study for that test or ace that quiz, delete every form of social media, knowing that they will get addicted. I can definitely think of a few, but even with their perfect grades and flawless motivation, procrastination can still affect them in some ways.
In this video, Tim Urban, co-founder of waitbutwhy.com (a blog that covers a variety of subjects including procrastination), goes into depth about the mind of a master procrastinator. He talks about how we should reflect and realize why we are procrastinating then try to fix the problem and the source. Here’s the link:
We as humans realize all the work we have done and feel like we deserve a break. But, instead of taking a short, 10 minute break, for example, we take a 60 minute break and blame it on the fact that “I lost track of time” or “I have been working for so long, I earned this break”.
In turn, if you’re like my sister, you use eating as an excuse. We watch Netflix or scroll through TikTok as we purposely eat slow, to get the most “bang for our buck.” We later will say that we didn’t have enough time to work because we had other “more important things” that had to come first. We do this because our brain doesn’t like to admit it is our fault. We are always trying to find someone or something else to blame it on.
In conclusion, procrastination is a result of our brains being lazy. It creates a road block in our thinking paths and tries to convince us that there are better things to do.
Ava Hogan is a Sophomore Staff Writer for the Knight Writers and RHSToday. Outside of journalism, Ava plays volleyball and flag football. She also sails...