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I'm a Procrastinator

Updated on April 14, 2011
This is my every day life.
This is my every day life.

I'm a procrastinator. I know I am too. I have lots of things I could be doing, but I don't because I'll always give myself an excuse not too. Something "more important" will always come up.
Even now, I'm here writing this, when I have things to be getting on with. Important things, but my concious mind tells me "I don't want to, so I won't!" And I'm not the only one who does this. Let's be honest, procrastination is the reason why Facebook, and TV Shows are doing so well. There's a billion people, just like me, who just can't be bothered with things mildly important.

"Our house is falling down, but we'll fix it after we reach the next level."
"Our house is falling down, but we'll fix it after we reach the next level." | Source

What is Procrastination?

"In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time."

To the people who don't know what it is, there is a good definition from Wikipedia.
An example would be, not doing your report until the last minute because you've spent the last few weeks doing something more "important", like watching Jeremy Kyle or making a scale model of San Francisco.

Why do we procrastinate though? Well, to find a reason you have to look at your own behaviour. Have you ever, for example, had a bar of chocolate given to you? Someone says "Hey, have one of these, I've bought one for everyone." Now, you know you don't actually need to have a bar of chocolate, hell you probably don't even want one. 
You know it'll do you no good, but you almost certainly gave yourself a reason to have one. "I've not had any chocolate for a while." "It's only one, it can't hurt." "Last time I didn't get one, so it's fair I should have one now." You're just doing some mental gymnastics to stop yourself from feeling guilty about having the chocolate.

This behaviour is called 'Special Pleading', and it takes many forms. You shouted at your Boss because you were stressed. You cut the other driver up because you had to merge then or else you'd crash. You had the last Banana because you didn't get any last time.

What's interesting to note though is we don't give each other the same privileges. Your Boss shouted at you because he's an awful person. The other driver cut you up because he's a crap driver who should never have been allowed a car. Someone else had the last Banana because they're just plain greedy. In reality they probably did these things for the same reason as you, but our mind grants us the exception for no damn reason.

How does this relate to procrastination? Well, special pleading grants us the exception to a rule, for no real reason. In procrastination terms, we know that we need to fix the shelf to the wall, but we've almost finished playing Halo 3, so we might as well finish it now, and fix the shelf later. However if someone else procrastinates, it's because they're lazy.

How do I fix it?!

Scientists recently announced they may have found a reason for Procrastination. So yes, you can blame it on something that's hard-wired into you. Dopamine may be the reason. You see, when you get close to finishing a task, we get a 'high' of Dopamine. You get excited, and happy. However, Dopamine is only released when the end of a task is near. When the end is a long way off, no Dopamine is released, and as a result we have no reward for starting a task. So we don't bother, we have no motivation.

So the cure; block the Dopamine receptors, and as a result, we'll just work. And work. And work. And before you say "Yes, but how do you know this will work?!" Well, scientists tested the idea on monkeys, and guess what, it worked (We're basically just monkeys too). They were more productive, by, a lot. So a little gene therapy and humans could be hard wired to work and work and work, and we'd be super productive. However, would this be a good thing?

Look at the industries that have made billions by giving us something to do whilst procrastinating. Our entire economy is based upon wasting time, and we keep on developing new and improved ways to waste the time that is so 'precious' to us. 

My question is though, we waste time because we enjoy wasting time. It's something we'd prefer to be doing. Whilst it makes us less productive, it also makes us happier. So surely we'd be better off not knowing the cure? As soon as we are given the cure, all the industries we now know and love, such as the film one, can go straight down the pan. And that sounds like a bleak future to me.

So I'm a procrastinator. I'm not alone, but I am proud of it. I did have a couple more points, but I'll finish them later, I've gotta do something important...


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    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Hurrah! Let's celebrate, maybe next week?

    • marwan asmar profile image

      Marwan Asmar 6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      I am a procrastinator, I am not ashamed to say it and I feel much better now because there is a whole world out there that contains people putting things off till next time! I used to think I am one of the few but now I am one of the many, hurrah!

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 7 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      I'll have to read your hub too! It is an odd coincidence though! It is a shame we do, but in another sense, maybe it's a good thing! Who knows!

      Thanks for commenting! :)

    • aslanlight profile image

      aslanlight 7 years ago from England

      I enjoyed reading this! It makes a lot of sense. I wrote a hub earlier today defending procrastinating funnily enough.

      I've procrastinated half of my life away and hate to think what it might have turned out like if I hadn't. By the way I don't usually mention my hubs but it's just so relevant to yours!

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 7 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Thanks for commenting! And very glad you enjoyed reading it! It's funny, we all do it but don't seem to question our behavior, oh well! Maybe we're just too lazy to question it! Haha.

    • Elisa659 profile image

      Elisa659 7 years ago from Inverness, FL

      Mental gymnastics! Very funny! And you know what? You are so correct- when I procrastinate- I find many seemingly good reasons for it- however- when someone else does it- they truly are just plain lazy! ha ha. Another very cute hub! Thanks- feels good to laugh..

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 7 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      I'm glad you thought so and it made you laugh! And hey we all have to learn something new every day :)

      Thanks for commenting

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 7 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Hi. What a brilliant hub. I hadn't actually thought about the reasons for 'procrastinating' but you have hit the nail on the head, we all do it! I also found the Hub very humorous so I'm sure you've raised my dopamine levels for today by making it interesting and I finished the task! I look forward to reading more of your work.


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