Why You Procrastinate & What to Do About It
A five-part Series exploring in simple terms the brain architecture that causes you to procrastinate and how to work with it rather than struggling against it.
If you've wanted to grow more of your own food, change to a more sustainable lifestyle, or make a difference to something important to you, but been hijacked by your own procrastination, this is for you.
There is a lizard on the control panel who is obsessed with safety, comfort, and immediate, short-term gratification.
In Part 1 of this Series, "What Causes Procrastination?" I’ll explain the human brain structure in very simple terms. You’ll meet the “lizard brain” in the base of your skull and find out why it has such power to derail your best intentions.
In Part 2, "How to convert procrastination into action," you'll learn how and why the lizard brain is responsible for overwhelm, being easily distracted, feeling unmotivated, difficulty prioritizing, seeking comfort in inappropriate ways, and every other avoidance behavior you can think of, including all of the pain associated with your to-do list.
We think of these as “weaknesses,” but they are actually just strategies that your lizard brain uses to try to keep you safe and comfortable. I’ll introduce 3 ideas for turning some of these into strengths, and for at least neutralizing others so that they no longer steer you off track.
Then in Parts 3, 4, and 5, I’ll expand on those 3 ideas.
In Part 3, "Dealing with distractions," you'll learn that you are easily distracted not because you're defective, but because there is a lizard on the control panel who is obsessed with comfort and wants immediate short-term gratification.
There is no way to change the lizard's compulsions, but we'll explore ways to “design your distractions” so that instead of leading you astray, they lead you in the direction you want to go.
In Part 4, "How to influence your own behavior - in advance," you'll see that sticking to useful habits and avoiding time-wasters has nothing to do with will power in the moments when your rational brain is ADHTS (Absent Due to Hunger, Tiredness, or Stress). It has everything to do with how you previously planned and located the things that would catch the attention of your lizard brain when it temporarily takes control.
Part 5 is called "Overcoming overwhelm." When you picture something important in your life that you want to change or create, your lizard goes on a spree of identifying every potential threat, every little thing that could possibly derail your project.
Result: You feel like it won’t be safe to start, till you know how to deal with Every. Little. Detail. In Part 5 we'll tackle that feeling of overwhelm and chunk it into do-able pieces.