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  • Shannon Smith

Why your brain loves to procrastinate: a neuroscience perspective with 8 practical tips for immediate action.

Updated: Mar 28

Neurella has something to say about procrastination. 

Here is what she said after I asked her to help me with procrastination (based on my neuroscience research, of course)…

…don’t you love the why after each step? 


1.   Break Tasks into Smaller Steps: Your brain finds large tasks daunting, leading to procrastination. Break tasks into small, manageable steps. This reduces the mental load and makes starting less intimidating.

Why: Small steps boost your sense of accomplishment, triggering dopamine releases in your brain, which motivates you further.

2.   Use Visualization: Imagine yourself completing tasks. Visualize the steps and the outcome.

Why: Visualization activates the same brain regions as actual task performance, strengthening neural pathways associated with the task and enhancing motivation (Guang Yue's study (among others)).

3.   Incorporate All Senses: When planning your tasks, engage all your senses in the visualization process.

Why: This creates a richer neural network, making the behavior more likely to stick.

4.   Regular Repetition: Repeat the new, non-procrastination behaviors regularly.

Why: Repetition strengthens new neural pathways and prunes old ones, solidifying new habits.

5.   Social Support: Share your goals with friends or a support group.

Why: Social connections activate reward circuits in the brain, providing additional motivation.

6.   Reward Yourself: After completing a task or a step, reward yourself.

Why: Rewards release dopamine, reinforcing the behavior. To maximize this effect, provide rewards within 2 hours of task completion.

7.   Use the WOOP Method: Identify your Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. It's a form of mental contrasting that helps in achieving goals.

Why: This method has been shown to support self-regulatory behaviors, enhancing your ability to manage procrastination.

8.   Engage in Stress-Reducing Activities: High stress can lead to procrastination. Engage in activities that reduce stress, like mindfulness or exercise.

Why: Reducing stress can improve cognitive flexibility, making it easier to switch between tasks and reduce procrastination.

-      I am the Habit Breaker

-      My Habit Breaker Program will give you a Limitless Mindset

-      You can apply what you learn to ANYTHING


-      Get a super-hoomin mindset

-      Get a Limitless Mindset

-      Get to the next level



Go from Struggle Bus 🚌 to Unicorn 🦄


P.S. Anyone else always ask why, or why should I :P

P.P.S. My grandmother used to complain about my incessant need to know why when I was a kid


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