Procrastination: It’s pretty much all in the mind

A recent neurological study of 264 people sheds some light on why some people procrastinate and others do not. Procrastinators have bigger amygdalas — the part of the brain responsible for emotions and fear — but also weaker connections between the amygdala and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (DACC), which helps incorporate information from the amygdala into decision making. This suggests procrastinators are more anxious and fearful about decisions, and also less able to filter out their fears and emotions.

Reflect on these key points:

  • 1Procrastinators have larger amygdalas, and poorer connections from their amygdala to their dorsal anterior cingulate cortex.
  • 2The DACC helps keep people on track by blocking out competing emotions and thoughts.
  • 3The study suggests that procrastinators may feel more anxiety about potential negative consequences of an action, and be less likely to block out those fears.

“Experts say the study, in Psychological Science, underlines procrastination is more about managing emotions than time.”

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