The Real Reason We Procrastinate
Do you put things off until the last possible second?
Well, add that to the list of things you can blame your parents for. A new study by Daniel Gustavson of the University of Colorado, Boulder, shows that our tendency to procrastinate is largely a product of genetics: Nearly half of the trait can be attributed to our DNA.
Interestingly, the study also found that procrastination is closely linked to impulsivity—in fact, that it might be an evolutionary byproduct. As Inc. reports,
The researchers theorized that procrastination might be essentially a result of a different way of processing goals. Back when humans were hunter-gatherers, decision making was simpler. You see a hungry lion, you run. The person who responded fastest, i.e., the most impulsively, probably prospered. Could it be, the team wondered, that procrastinators hold on more tightly to this original impulsive approach to decision making and struggle with long-term goals in today’s lion-free environment?
While this isn’t great news for the procrastinators among us (yes, I’m writing this article minutes before it’s due), Gustavson is quick to point out that all hope is not lost. “Learning more about the underpinnings of procrastination may help develop interventions to prevent it, and help us overcome our ingrained tendencies to get distracted and lose track of work,” he shares.
In the meantime? Read some of our favorite articles for scientific ways to get moving. It may never be easy, but that doesn’t mean that client deadline is going anywhere.
- Just Do It: How to Finally Stop Procrastinating
- Today, Not Tomorrow: 4 Ways to Stop Procrastinating
- The Research-Backed Ways to Finally Stop Procrastinating
- How to Do the Work You Really Don’t Want to Do
- Simple Ways to Nip Procrastination in the Bud
Scott Dockweiler crafts witty headlines, writes fun articles, and generally lends a hand to the editorial team at The Daily Muse. When he’s not Musing, he’s trying to get his acting career off the ground and racking up Delta Airlines frequent flier miles between NYC and LA. You won’t find him on Twitter—yet.More from this Author