Why Do We Procrastinate?


Asma Mahjabeen, Staff Writer

Most of us have definitely thought about the following question: Why on earth do we procrastinate?! We wish we could finish things on time and dream of an organized life. An organized life is a good life. If we didn’t procrastinate, life would be in our control. We all know it’s bad for us, but for some reason, it is so hard to stop!

So what is procrastination? According to SolvingProcrastination.com, “it is the act of unnecessarily postponing decisions or actions”, also known as “the delay of the inevitable.” We think that procrastination doesn’t have negative impacts on us as long as we get our tasks done right before the deadline, but we’re wrong. It is, in fact, correlated with high levels of stress and poor mental and physical health. Stress is a serious issue that is sometimes ignored since most of us are so used to it. However, uncontrolled stress can become chronic and cause a part of our brain (called the prefrontal cortex) to shrink. This leads to learning and memory issues.

Interestingly enough, the brain works as a drug addict. It rewards you with the feel-good hormone called dopamine whenever you do something you like. Do you like finishing that lab report you’ve been delaying? No. How about watching your favorite show on Netflix while eating a bag of crispy chips? Yes. So you’ll lean towards choosing the latter. It takes self-control to be successful and not procrastinate.

You can fight off urges to procrastinate by rewarding yourself after completing each task. With this, you are more likely to want to get things done and your brain will release dopamine after you complete your tasks. For instance, after finishing your lap report, you can indulge yourself in a bowl of cookies.

Lack of organization, motivation, and consequence are other causes of procrastination. If you keep a steady schedule or a to-do list everyday, it can help prevent delaying tasks if it is followed religiously. Furthermore, remind yourself of your end goals, create a reward structure to have continued motivation, or even search up motivational videos on YouTube. In addition, remind yourself of the dark circles, pimples, bad moods, and hair loss you’ll get from lack of sleep due to procrastination. You must believe and realize the consequences of procrastinating. It’s easy to ignore the consequences if we keep submitting our assignments right before 11:59 because you got it done and passed with acceptable marks, right?

If you have too many things to do and don’t get started right away, you’ll fall into the spiral of procrastination. And you don’t need to start your task in the perfect environment or in the perfect mood, just get started! It’s up to you to fight the indecisiveness and perfectionism that hinder you from success.

Fun fact: I even procrastinated to write this article. We procrastinate because we have a wrong sense of time. We assume that we will get ourselves to do the task we’re putting off, but when the time comes, we get consumed by something else. Time flies. So beware that it doesn’t zoom past you and leave you in regret and ruin.