Friday, February 08, 2013

Why We Procrastinate

I just found a new TED video called Why We Procrastinate by Vik Nithy. He says that we put things off because parts of our brain, the limbic system and the amygdala, live in fear and anxiety. We put off things when they are not known, not pleasurable or not simple enough for our "monkey brain" to do. While part of our brain, the prefrontal cortex, tells us that we should do the tasks, most of the time, the limbic system and amygdala win and we procrastinte.

How do we win over our brain to do the things right now? Vik Nithy says we should do meta cognition, or think about thinking. There are six things we should plan for: goals, time, resources, process, distractions, and failures.

First, we should have goals and steps to complete the goals. Second, we should set enough time to complete the goals. Third, get your resources at hand so you do not have excuses to do other distractions. Fourth, imagine yourself doing the tasks and it would be easier to finish the tasks. Fifth, plan for distractions so you can either schedule them or stop them when they come up. Sixth, never give up when you encounter failures, but just keep on going until you reach your goals.

Vik Nithy is just a student, but he is a good TED speaker. The talk is less than ten minutes so you can watch this over a break so you can do better.

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