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This Is The Real Reason Behind Your Procrastination

Did you know that the brain tends to often put off things till the time it experiences an approaching deadline? For example, you are aware your assignment submission date is drawing near. However, you put the task on hold until the last moment. At that point, you become extremely worked up since the last day is not far away. But have you ever wondered why exactly this postponing occurs? Or what causes you to approach a situation at the eleventh hour?

Well, there are neural roots behind our procrastination which we fail to identify. Let’s find out the neural reasons behind your procrastination in light of a recent research article published in Nature magazine. This is why you might be procrastinating, whether at work or at home.

You Might Find The Benefits Of Postponing Something Very Alluring

To understand the role of the brain in procrastination, Wenwen Zhang, Xiangpeng Wang & Tingyong Feng, three Chinese researchers offered two surprisingly contrasting explanations with two cognitive approaches. The first is the emotion-regulation perspective, which proposes that people tend to procrastinate when the short-term goal of keeping off something does not outweigh the long-term advantages of getting the work done. In other words, the benefits that you yield as a result of averting the task must not overshadow the delay in reaping the awards that the task accomplishment can give you.

There Might Be Lack Of Motivation

On the other hand, the motivation-based theory tends to view procrastination due to the increase in the motivation factor, even before the deadline approaches. Termed as ‘temporal discounting’, this theory proposes that if the event is away from the present scenario, we often fail to see the impact it generates. It is precisely for this reason that the deadline kept almost three weeks away was not even thought about, till the time a few hours are left. No matter how effective the cognitive approaches seem, authors know that motivation and emotion form relevant parts of the total picture called procrastination.

The Role Of Parahippocampus

If you look at what the Chinese authors had to propound, the psychological theories coupled together make up the answers to the ‘temporal decision model’. Acting at present or the future largely depends on whether the motivation to act outweighs motivation to avoid or vice versa. The aversion from the emotional perspective related to procrastination stems from the parahippocampus (associated with memory). Somehow, it builds a connection if the task or a similar one occurred in the past and that caused you a good amount of aversion. There’s no denying how Zhang et al. rightly maintained that this little brain tissue offers a strong ‘neural underlying the procrastination trait’.  Also, the parahippocampus communicates with other centers of the brain inside the limbic system. Procrastinators usually have a brain region that gets together in amplifying the aversive mindsets related to an event or situation. Contrasted to the people who do not procrastinate, they have such brains that send very few ‘emotional alarms’ about the approaching and potentially dissatisfying tasks.

Lack Of Self-Regulation

Owing to the temporal discounting in procrastination sets in, procrastinators experience less motivation to begin off with the event or anything that is nowhere nearer. Zhang et al. have cited research in his work, displaying how procrastinators have less number of neural tissues in the prefrontal region of the brain (linked to impulse control and planning), which makes it all the more difficult to exercise self-regulation about the use of time. Without self-regulation, you will experience considerable difficulty in keeping a check about the speed in reaching towards your goal within the time limit allotted to you. If you study chronic procrastinators around you well, you would notice that they think of how monotonous or unfulfilling the task was until they are left with no choice.

Despite sticking to the temporal decision theory or attributing the chronic lateness to inadequate grey matter, there are other ways to interpret procrastination. If you tend to do this, you should not fall a victim to the ‘faulty brain waves’. There is an urgent need to learn from the mistakes you have made already and think of the situations that led to problems just because of procrastination. Also, the moment you have known the negative factors that hinder you from completing some task, try and see them in a more positive light.

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