You know you’ve got that deadline. You know the smart and easy thing to do is just start working. But something is holding you back – something that says you can get it done later.
About a fifth of us is “real procrastination” or chronic people. We delay doing something so much that it begins to negatively affect our relationships, outputs, and even mental health. It doesn’t matter where we live in the world or if we’re facing things like ADHD: Twenty percent of people everywhere struggle with “gratuitous delays.”
Neuroscientists at Germany’s Ruhr-Universität Bochum have just published a study looking at the physical characteristics of the brains of delayed people. The very short version is that they have found some differences in the size and connectivity of the almond ganglia in those who delay. Almond nodes are involved in controlling actions and assessing situational threats. This can lead to insufficient tallying of negative thoughts and alternative action plans.
There’s not much you can do with your almond nodes, but you can give yourself a way out of the habit of procrastination. One is to recognize what you are struggling with within your heart, whether it is faked syndrome, perfectionism, or some other mental block. Re-examine yourself when you feel stuck, both physically and emotionally. Train yourself to recognize what you are doing and choose a method to overcome this particular hump (not all humps have been, not all humps that you have not overcome in the past, just this one). Your brain is not you – and whatever you need to accomplish, you can definitely get it done.