I was going to write a blog post about a completely different topic, but then I figured I’d get to it later. Eventually, I forgot about what I was originally going to write about, so I looked to something I’m quite familiar with for inspiration: Procrastination.
As a notorious procrastinator, I’m still not sure why I do it. Sure, there’s the rush of getting something done at the last minute under extreme pressure. After all, the mantra that procrastinators swear by is “diamonds are made under pressure”. Curious, I took to the internet and scientific literature to see what I could find.
I’d tell you what I found, but I can do that later.
Just kidding, here are 3 interesting scientific tidbits about procrastination, and you won’t believe number 2!
1.Procrastination is the result of the brain being in a constant tug-of-war
That’s pretty self explanatory, but let’s dig a little deeper. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for taking information and making decisions. Psychology export Tim Pychyl from Carelton University says that “This is the part of the brain that really separates humans from animals”. But the decision making process is voluntary: We give in to what feels better, in this case pushing projects until later to get that sweet rush of dopamine during a late night cram session.
2. More people are prone to procrastinate than others, and you’ll have to blame your parents for that
Some people, as it turns out, are genetically programmed to put things off until later. A study at the University of Colorado at Boulder discovered that some people are more predisposed than others to push an assignment to the side whenever a new temptation, or distraction, enters the fold. At the same time, others are more likely to ignore these stimuli. Those who act impulsively, as it was found, are more likely to pursue these short term goals and end up putting off long term assignments until they’re due.
3. Procrastination is the complete breakdown of your brain and body’s self control
Procrastination can be equated to someone on a strict diet consistently breaking it for donuts and other treats. A study from Utrecth University determined that people who generally have trouble resisting temptations are more likely to delay going to bed. So if you’re the last of you family/roommates to go to bed, you’re probably an avid procrastinator.
The science is clear: procrastination all boils down to how willing you are to do something. For some, it’s hard. for other’s it’s natural, but as long as you end up getting your assignment done, that’s fine in most professor’s books! I just hope you don’t look at the time this blog post was submitted 😉