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What Happens When We Procrastinate?

Procrastination. A torturous and anxiety-provoking concept for all of us planners. But the truth is, we’ve all done it before. You know, that feeling when you just really don’t want to do something in the moment, so you put it off, claiming that you’ll do it later. Some have even gained the “Procrastinator” title at work or in their personal lives.

And while some claim that procrastinating lights a fire under them and helps them work better, making procrastination a habit can be extremely stressful. Keep reading to understand the biology behind procrastination, ways to stop procrastinating, and how to be more mindful in your everyday life.

The Biology Behind Procrastination

Biology pinpoints to two areas of your brain that may be responsible for your procrastination behaviors. The amygdala, which is the part of your brain that processes emotions, and the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for planning.

Studies have found that some people have a larger amygdala than others. Those with larger amygdalas are more likely to let emotions interfere with tasks, making it harder to tune out distractions and avoid procrastination.

How to Stop Procrastinating

Practicing mindfulness has actually been shown to shrink your amygdala and strengthen your prefrontal cortex, making you feel more relaxed every day, but also less likely to procrastinate. Studies have also shown that your brain changes throughout life. Which means you can learn to plan ahead and eventually stop the last-minute behavior. Here are some tips to stop procrastinating:

  • Put your phone away when completing a task.
  • Minimize interruptions.
  • Break tasks out into smaller tasks.
  • Use Xen, it may help you focus and practice mindfulness.
  • Plan ahead for your days.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.

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