Procrastination is one of the toughest struggles to deal with because you often have periods in which it occurs and periods when you find the motivation and dedication to immediately work on all your goals and jobs. But why is it so difficult to fully stop procrastinating?
What is procrastination?
In terminology procrastination is a force which stops you from doing the tasks you set out to do. This force comes with stress, guilt, shame and anxiety, these side effects do certainly not extend your lifetime. For example, stress has a huge effect on blood-pressure, general heart functions and your mental health. Therefore, it is best to be prevented or at least reduced to a minimum.
So, why don’t we do the things we are supposed to do and instead give us extra, unnecessary pains?
This has all to do with behaviour psychology, more specifically a phenomenon called time inconsistency. Unfortunately, our brains prioritize immediate rewards above future rewards.
Research has found that you have 2 selves inside your mind, the Present Self and the Future Self. All the plans and tasks you plan, are in fact for the Future Self and the actual actions of now are decided by the Present Self. Your Present Self does not feel the effects of the Future Self and therefore, does not feel like working towards the goals of the Future Self. Why work on something which costs you time and effort now but no immediate reward, when you could spend your time eating bad foods, playing games and being rewarded with nice flavours and fun times immediately?
This leaves your Present Self and Future Self in a constant battle, only when it really means something to you or there is a big external force pushing you, you will do the tasks for your Future Self instead.
In this brief explanation, you might have seen already a solution to stop procrastinating. ‘Simply’ make the big Future goal into smaller daily goals. For example, if you want to lose 10kg of fat in two months. Break it up in smaller goals, 5kg per month, 1,25kg per week, 0,18kg per day. The only problem with this, is that weight loss comes in different stages, one day you might lose 0,10kg and another 0,30kg but you get the gist. It is a way of keeping it on your mind and making it a task for your Present Self.
Another way of dealing with procrastination is a famous method called Temptation Bundling. You bundle something which you love doing with a behaviour on which you procrastinate. For example, watch your favourite football team play, while doing house chores. Research has shown that combining something you love doing together with something you have to do to will help you achieve your future tasks.
External help - nootropics and brain boosters
Another way of giving your mind a nudge into the right direction is by using Nootropics.
Nootropics are a kind of 'smart drug' which are made to boost your cognitive capabilities such as memory and decision making. Generally, nootropics are made from a mixture of food derived vitamins and antioxidants which have been linked to healthy brain functions.
I must point out that 1 pill does not turn you immediately into a super human, you will need to take the nootropic consistently before effects are even possible. On top of that, the effectiveness of these pills is related to your standard diet. Eating a range of unhealthy foods and adding a nootropic will not give you any effect. You cannot ‘out-supplement’ an unhealthy diet!
If you are thinking of giving nootropics a try, I recommend Apollo’s Hegemony Brain Fuel v2.
This supplement contains unique compositions of agents that stimulate brain activity. This supplement could possibly help reduce procrastination due to the boost of energy, alertness, stimulation of brain functions and finally it also reduces the feeling of intellectual fatigue.
So, lets recap, procrastination is the force that stops you from doing the things you set out to do. This can be seen as a mental battle between your Present Self and your Future Self. By making big future goals smaller to daily goals and attaching things you love with things you procrastinate on, you can reduce procrastination. Another possible way of reducing procrastination is by using nootropics as a supplement, these so called ‘smart drugs’ enhance your brain functions which may lead to a reduction of procrastination.
Do you struggle with procrastination and was this blog useful? Let us know! We love to hear your stories.
Written by Sven Nicholson | Online Personal Trainer @ www.healthychanges-pt.com