Why do procrastinators procrastinate?
This excellent article on Wait but Why explains the mechanism in which our reptilian brain (or Monkey) takes control over our actions, because immediate pleasure makes us feel somehow safe.
But why do we let the Monkey take over instead of beating it?
One answer is: because we can. We have deadlines on projects we don’t like.
Our ancestors didn’t have this luxury. They worked the land not for a living, but for surviving. The land gave them food. Without a good crop, they couldn’t make it through the winter.
In order to have a good crop, be it grains or some vegetables like tomatoes/potatoes/peppers, they needed to prepare the soil, put the seeds, take care of the plants as they grew up.
Of course, there wasn’t a specific day, but a certain interval of weeks for these jobs, yet it was pretty tight. One cannot plant tomatoes in June and expect to have them fully grown and ripe by the beginning of August.
Besides, all the preparation of the land took a lot of time and work, planting the seeds, then regularly plucking it. Watering the plants, making sure they grow ok.
But this was just the beginning – in spring. Here comes summer, then autumn. By the middle of fall, the vegetables and fruit were transformed into pickles, jams, (conserve), wine or some other alcohol. Wood logs were to be stacked somewhere near the house, for the long, cold winter days and nights.
One has to reap the corn before it rains, or it must wait for it to dry after the rain.
In case of animals, food for winter must be provisioned in late summer/autumn days, but not when wet, as grass can easily rot.
So, procrastination was not an option for our ancestors.
Why is it an option for us?
We are more stressed nowadays than before, even though there’s this abundence of food and clothes. We have doctors and hospitals. We can get to another place at speeds unimagined by our grandparents.
Is it because there’s no gun pointed at our heads to “just do it”? Do we people function mostly on the gun danger?
Our parents had “the duty” – “I had to”, “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do”.
Bring that gun back… or gimme motivation – less work hours for same issues 🙂
Another good article: