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Last Updated on July 30, 2018

Why Do People Procrastinate? 9 Reasons You Can’t Help Procrastinating

Why Do People Procrastinate? 9 Reasons You Can’t Help Procrastinating

Everyone procrastinates. Since the dawn of time, people have been putting things off.

Sometimes, procrastinating is harmless. Take for instance the laundry. No one likes doing the laundry, and as long as you’re not starting to re-wear clothes that have started to get a bit stinky, you’ll still be a functioning member of society if you put off the laundry for a few hours (or days).

In order to research this topic, I procrastinated writing this article until I was getting pretty close to the deadline (to my editors: ha, I’m kidding. Please keep me on staff). And you know what? Even though I put it off a little bit (again, totally for research purposes), it’s still getting done.

Here are nine reasons other than article research that you might find yourself procrastinating:

1. You want to control everything.

If you put things off, they can’t go wrong! Right?

Unfortunately, you can’t put things off forever.

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By procrastinating, you hold the most control over whatever task you’re working on. However, this also means, obviously, that that particular task isn’t being done.

2. You see a task as one big project.

Honestly, almost everything we do can be broken down into little manageable parts.

Take, for instance, the laundry that I mentioned above. If the laundry seems like a daunting task to you, break it down into steps. Collect all your dirty clothes. Separate colors and whites. Put your clothes on a wash cycle. Put them in the dryer. Fold them.

Laundry is obviously a basic example, but this can apply to a number of situations. By breaking things down into parts, you’ll find the task much more doable.

3. You’re a perfectionist.

Sometimes, being a perfectionist works in your favor. However, it can be tempting to put things off or delay completing tasks simply because you’re worried about the outcome being less than perfect.

Just remember that it’s okay if things don’t turn out exactly how you had them in your head.

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Plus, a completed, albeit imperfect, task is better than an uncompleted task.

4. You’re worried about failing.

It can be tempting to procrastinate tasks because of a fear of failing. Of course you cannot fail at something when you don’t do it at all.

Unfortunately, this is an unproductive way of thinking.

Facing your fear of failure will help you eventually overcome that fear, or learn to manage it.

So next time you think about putting something off simply to avoid potential failure, tackle it head on. You’ll grow as a person from the experience.

5. You don’t have a lot of self-control.

There are definitely varying levels of self-control. Everyone is different. However, there is a point in which your self-control can get in the way of productivity.

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Procrastinating comes easier to people who naturally do not have the discipline to complete tasks in a timely and organized manner.

6. You don’t make lists.

Procrastination can come as a result of something falling through the cracks. If you put something off and then forget to write down that you need to do it later, it’s possible that you could entirely forget about the first task.

If you’re a forgetful person, make a to-do list with all your tasks on it, and only cross them off when they’re 100% completed.

7. You underestimate time commitments.

It can be discouraging when a project takes you two weeks to complete when you thought it would take one.

If you consistently estimate time commitments incorrectly, it might be causing you to procrastinate more than you would otherwise.

It’s tempting to put things off if you think you have the time, but realizing you don’t have as much time as you thought can cause serious scrambling to get things done.

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8. You’ve (just barely) gotten by.

Procrastinating a task does not always equate to worse work. Some people work very well under pressure and can produce very good work, while others are simply lucky .

Eventually there will come a time when procrastinating doesn’t go so well. Be mindful of the quality of your work and make sure your last-minute rush doesn’t show.

9. You’re lazy.

This is the number one reason that most of us procrastinate. We just don’t feel like doing whatever it is we’re putting off. Being lazy doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

It’s totally okay for you to sometimes lounge around and watch TV rather than mow the lawn. Just don’t let that behavior become habitual.

So here you go, 9 most common reasons why people procrastinate. If you can relate yourself to one of these reasons, it’s time to take actions and beat procrastination.

Take a look at Lifehack’s CEO Leon’s guide on procrastination:

What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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