High School High School Biology and Chemistry


What makes you procrastinate? What are some things you can do to prevent it?

            Have you ever procrastinated with even the simplest tasks? If yes, then you are not alone. Although procrastination has many negative consequences, saving tasks for last minute is very common thing to do, especially for teenagers. Procrastination increases stress and happens due to the fear of making a mistake  It is universal and very relate-able, as human brains are wired to it. However, getting over it is actually a step closer to being able to deal with adult responsibilities.


                                                          Photo from thenextweb.com

            There are many causes for procrastination which include forgetting about it, being unclear with what needs to be done, underestimating the amount of time needed to complete the task, not knowing where to start, having poor study routines, getting distracted, and being overwhelmed, just to name a few [1].

            Procrastination can be linked to the brain which is wired to the job of reproducing and surviving. If a situation seems threatening to the well being of a person, then an emotional response is triggered. The limbic system is one of the dominant portions of the brain which allows one to flee away from unpleasant tasks [2]. In particular, the amygdala is the part of this system in control of one’s reactions to a situation. For instance, if one is overwhelmed with a numerous amount of tasks, then the brain is automatically in flight (resistance) or fight (ignore) response. In a way, the brain is protecting us from feelings of negativity. Being overwhelmed is caused by norepinephrine which is a released chemical that increases feelings of anxiety. Adrenaline is also pumped in.

            The prefrontal cortex is what allows you to interpret information and carry out decisions. It is what differentiates humans from animals. Unlike the limbic system, the prefrontal cortex is not automatic. The limbic system takes over when you are not consciously engaged in a task [2]. Since our bodies naturally desire dopamine, we execute activities that produce dopamine and avoid tasks that prevent the production of this chemical. Breaking down tasks, as a matter of fact, can actually help our brains comprehend them in a more logical order. Most people assume that waiting out an entire day will increase motivation when, in fact, stubbornly trying to accomplish certain tasks is a better option and will trigger more positive thinking instead of leaving them undone [3].

             Although procrastination is probably already a habit for most people, there are still ways to get things done without letting procrastination get in the way. First, make sure that clear deadlines and timelines are made so that any confusion or obstacles can be knocked out of the way. Having a clear picture of what to expect for a certain task will certainly help most people to work towards their end goals. Deadlines can be made for each step that needs to be done by a reasonable time frame [4]. In addition, removing any form of distractions and rewarding yourself with small breaks after 30 minutes of working can help you push through your work [5]. It will be difficult to tackle procrastination in one day, but with a clear schedule and clear mindset, it is possible to get more work done than expected which is better on the long run.


 [1] “12 Reasons Why Students Procrastinate…and What You Can Do about It – Maggie Wray, Ph.D. – Creating Positive Futures.” Maggie Wray, Ph.D. — Creating Positive Futures, 7 Dec. 2016, creatingpositivefutures.com/12-reasons-why-students-procrastinate/.

[2] “The Science Behind Procrastination.” Real Simple, www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/procrastination.

[3] Duvauchelle, Denis. “Brain Freeze: The Science of Procrastination (And How to Fight Back).” The Next Web, 27 Mar. 2014, thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2014/03/27/brain-freeze-science-procrastination-smart-brains/.

[4] “Home.” Help Your Teen Now, helpyourteennow.com/why-do-teens-procrastinate/.

[5] “How to Stop Procrastinating.” Real Simple, http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/how-to-stop-procrastinating.


  1. I love how the information is very clear and easy to understand. This article really made me see procrastination from a new, more scientific, perspective.


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