Why do we procrastinate?
Recently I watched a lecture on Ted-Talk, which was about procrastination, the act of leaving things you should do until later. It really inspired me. The speaker, Tim Urban is a blogger who runs a website called “Wait but Why.” In the lecture, he talked about what he thinks about procrastination. He said he is a procrastinator. He postponed a lot of things, his college papers, a 90-page senior thesis, and even the script to this lecture.
One day, he decided to write about procrastination on his blog. He made a hypothesis that the brains of procrastinators are different from the brains of other people. According to him, there is something he called a “Monkey” in the procrastinators’ brain which has a strong desire to only do things that are easy and fun all the time. It always stops people from doing things less pleasant but more important. When the deadline gets close, something he called the “Panic Monster,” scares the “Monkey” to wake up and makes people do what they have to do.
When he uploaded this to his blog, he was amazed by people’s response. Thousands of people wrote emails to him saying, “I have this problem, too.” Some people were really serious about this problem. They were in a difficult situation because of this Monkey. They were frustrated about what procrastination had done to their lives.
With the emails that people had sent to him, he found out that there were actually 2 kinds of procrastination. The procrastination he wrote about on his blog has a deadline. So even though we postpone, we get to do it because the Panic Monster gets involved. But there is another procrastination that doesn’t have deadlines. When there are no deadlines, the Panic Monster doesn’t have anything to wake up for. So people just procrastinated things forever.
I was very impressed by his lecture. His hypothesis about procrastination really seemed true. It also made me look back on the times when I procrastinated stuff I had to do. When I was in elementary school, I used to postpone writing diaries. So I always wrote it at the last minute and it was really hard. I put off things like watching online classes and doing my homework.
By watching this, I learned a valuable lesson. Procrastinating things will not take us to where we want to be. We should get up and do something in order to live a life that we want. It might be hard right now but it will help us later. We should stop procrastinating and do things in time.
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