Getting tasks done, meeting a deadline and being in charge are ways to move forward and be successful. For some, productivity may be second nature, but for many others it is learned behavior. Learning to be more productive may require understanding how the brain works.
The Brain Game
Two parts of the brain are in mortal combat when it comes to productivity. The limbic system is that portion of the brain that houses the pleasure center. It is the oldest part of the brain, is automatic and involved in the release of dopamine. The prefrontal cortex, an evolutionarily newer part of the brain, is in command of non-emotional thinking. When tasks need to be done, these two parts of the brain compete for your attention.
Retraining the brain takes persistence.
Where Does Procrastination Fit In
Putting things off until the last minute works as an alternate way to get a jolt of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that rewards us. Looking at it this way, procrastination brings you face to face with a looming deadline. Waiting until the project is due to get started causes the brain to release a substance normally released when an individual is startled. This causes you to tackle the project with gusto. After completing the task, dopamine is released as a reward.
Tricking the Brain
Since procrastination tricks the brain into releasing dopamine, this negative behavior surreptitiously provides a dopamine boost, but it does so at a cost. Stress and anxiety accompany procrastination. Doing the tasks ahead of schedule reduces anxiety. In addition, with time, this alternate pathway obliterates the old routine of letting things go until the end.
Change takes time and effort.
Instilling Positive Traits
Establishing a system that helps you to fulfill your goals and accomplish tasks ahead of time is an important way to eliminate procrastination. Setting up a list of major goals and lesser goals is one way to do that. Initially, this means understanding that not all goals are equal. Some tasks require attention more than others. Learning to differentiate between what needs to be done quickly and what does not sets the stage for the journey away from procrastination. In addition, seeing the tasks dwindle as you finish each one instills a sense of accomplishment.
Setting Up To-Do Lists
Grabbing a piece of paper and a pencil is one way to do this. However, since work and play are linked to communication devices, taking advantage of a system such as Todo that places a to-do list on your mobile phone or tablet makes it easy to keep track.
Putting the Tasks Where You’ll See Them
Going over your schedule and what you need to accomplish before you retire for the evening saves you time the following day and makes you eager to get started. Having the next day’s schedule on your tablet or phone makes this simple.
Putting tasks in order of urgency, logging in the due date as well as noting recurring tasks is easily accomplished using Todo. It gives you the chance to see what needs to be done. In addition, by using the cloud, you can share that across all devices. It shows you when tasks need to be completed and helps you meet your deadline. Such task tracking is an excellent way of substituting the positive habit of getting things done in place of procrastination. By downloading Appigo’s latest app, you will find a way to make retraining your brain easy.