It’s not a secret: procrastination is linked to rewards and rewards are linked to motivation. If there is a choice between two things to do, one that brings immediate rewards and one that has rewards that won’t be given for a while, the brain almost always chooses the immediate reward. So technological distractions (watching videos on YouTube, playing games and chatting with friends on Facebook, endless Tumblr memes) have more immediate value than getting an A+ on next week’s test.
However, the closer that a reward seems, the greater it’s value. So the night before a test, suddenly that A+ seems more important. That means cramming.
Here’s another scientific factor: choosing immediate rewards releases dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical. This means deciding to surf the net instead of studying literally feels better!
So what’s the solution?
The tips below offers some great tips to help students of all ages trick science and their brain to overcome habit-forming dopamine and beat nasty procrastination for good.
1. Since the brain is seeking rewards, provide rewards in intervals, such as a break or a snack.
2. Set a time frame for reward intervals (eg. For every 20 minutes of study,
you can watch one Youtube video)
3. Acknowledge your procrastination.
4. Impose your own deadlines (ie. What should you have accomplished by what
5. Put a positive spin on how you think about the work.
6. Make a list of the reasons why completing a task is a good idea.
7. Remove temptations (shut down the computer, turn off the phone and TV, etc.)
Now take three minutes to watch this great video and get a better understanding of procrastination.
Oxford Learning provides supplemental education services across North America. It offers programs for young people from preschool through university, and its cognitive approach goes beyond tutoring to ignite a lifelong love of learning. Find out more at http://www.OxfordLearning.com.
*This post has been generously sponsored by the wonderful people of Oxford Learning*