The Science of Procrastination – And How To Manage It


let’s face it you’re likely watching this video in an effort to avoid some other tasks you’re procrastinating to learn how to stop procrastinating but the clock is ticking so why can’t you seem to stop though the psychological causes are still debated there’s a human tendency to over or underestimate the value of a reward based on its temporal proximity this is often referred to as temporal discounting for example if I offered you $100 today or 110 in a month most would take the hundred and run but what if instead I offered you 100 dollars in a year or 110 in a year and one month suddenly you might say to yourself if I can wait a year I can wait the extra month but the time and value difference are the exact same in each example it turns out that human motivation is highly influenced by how imminent the reward is perceived to be meaning the further away the reward is the more you discount its value this is often referred to as present bias or hyperbolic discounting so being on Facebook reddit Twitter or YouTube is more rewarding than a perfect score on your test until temporal proximity increases the value of a good mark on your chest and you cram all night on top of this every time something enjoyable happens you get a dose of dopamine which modifies the neurons in your brain making you more likely to repeat the behavior the problem is video games or browsing the Internet provide many small quick and continuous rewards unlike your term essay which is a one-time future reward so how do you overcome the intrinsic urge to put off so many tasks unfortunately there isn’t just one solution but try rewarding yourself in intervals with a snack the internet or other enjoyable activities the Pomodoro Technique makes use of a timer work for 25 minutes straight and when you’re done this give yourself the reward in a 5-minute break then start the working clock again gradually increasing the amount of work time you put in will improve your high-level executive functioning acknowledge your procrastination your future self will procrastinate it’s been shown that creating a self-imposed costly deadline is an effective way to manage your working habits with externally imposed deadlines being even more effective also try and enjoy the process of achieving something instead of thinking only our minutes of torture try thinking I’m doing something great or I enjoy being productive to the same token make a list of the reasons you want to complete the goal reinforcing that you want to do it minimizes indecision oftentimes procrastination is a symptom not a cause and the power of being properly motivated can take you far finally if you can remove the temptations turn off the internet uninstall your favorite game or work somewhere else putting obstacles in the way of your procrastination tools can be a great trick to keep you on track got a burning question you want answered ask it in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe for more weekly science videos

100 Comments

  1. tigerlily 121 said:

    PEACH RINGS ARE THE SHIT. I LOVE THEM.

    March 23, 2016
    Reply
  2. You'll find me everywhere said:

    I'm procrastinating while watching this video.. 😂😂

    March 29, 2016
    Reply
  3. SarcastiCat said:

    I'm procrastinating studying for my exam by googling how to stop procrastinating.

    March 30, 2016
    Reply
  4. Zoe Klein said:

    What is energy, exactly? I mean, I know what it is, but, can you go into depth??
    +AsapSCIENCE

    April 1, 2016
    Reply
  5. AmirMemeZ_ said:

    it so hard :-S

    April 2, 2016
    Reply
  6. Des Wong said:

    anyone else add the video to "watch later"?

    April 9, 2016
    Reply
  7. sweetface said:

    Being a procrastinator perfectionist makes life so difficult 🙃

    April 12, 2016
    Reply
  8. Penny Pecpec said:

    I just watched ad about procrastination before this

    April 16, 2016
    Reply
  9. PercivalBlakeney said:

    +AsapSCIENCE
    Thanks for this. I've needed to hear this kind of thing for decades.
    "My future self won't procrastinate!!"… oh really? How's that working out for you?… here in (ahem) the future?!?!
    Thanks again Asap.
    O:-)

    April 16, 2016
    Reply
  10. Sohini Biswas said:

    that never works for me I always find a way to procrastinate

    April 16, 2016
    Reply
  11. 🌍 Mister No said:

    I'll watch this video later…

    April 24, 2016
    Reply
  12. ninja said:

    i subscribed to ur channel after watching 1 video – thank you! i needed this so much 🙂

    April 30, 2016
    Reply
  13. Heaven Markham said:

    I'm trying to escape my sisters with this video

    May 8, 2016
    Reply
  14. aaron gloskowski said:

    I procrastinated taking my juice out of the freezer. Now I have a popsicle, yea.

    May 19, 2016
    Reply
  15. Jai said:

    At this level it's not called procrastination, It's called jeopardizing my future

    May 20, 2016
    Reply
  16. Says The Big Bear said:

    I bet 90% of the people watching this will leave thinking, "eh, maybe I'll try those methods another time."

    May 22, 2016
    Reply
  17. Mateo Zamudio said:

    i will create obstacles for my procrastination … later

    May 22, 2016
    Reply
  18. Abdurrahman said:

    19‏/09‏/2012
    We'll write a description later….
    Procrastination of procrastination is the solution
    So if you gonna do something just DO IT and immediately without any fuckin excuse.

    June 9, 2016
    Reply
  19. TaylorMade said:

    Well my math exam for finals is tomorrow. I havent studied all day. 😳

    June 16, 2016
    Reply
  20. Eye of Horus said:

    you lack discipline!

    August 2, 2016
    Reply
  21. Zjarreye said:

    Ok. Only 4 more mins until 9:30. I'll start then.

    August 11, 2016
    Reply
  22. Merry Cracker Marshmallows said:

    i m watching instead of doing homework….

    August 16, 2016
    Reply
  23. Yuru Yuri said:

    im procrastinating sleeping

    August 19, 2016
    Reply
  24. Star Jemmott said:

    i like the 💡

    September 11, 2016
    Reply
  25. AceNoob said:

    I am procrastinating but I don't really have anything to do, like no revision or studying

    September 13, 2016
    Reply
  26. Justin Elliott said:

    procrastinating sleep. Poor me

    September 14, 2016
    Reply
  27. Abhisheksingh Rajput said:

    woooow ….. the fact ….. you are procrastinating currently in order to learn how to not procrastinate

    September 15, 2016
    Reply
  28. luuvnich said:

    I just want to die. My procrastination is ruining my life. Can't cope with uni workload im failing everything..

    September 18, 2016
    Reply
  29. Alexi Rampono Kelly said:

    Uninstall my favourite games??? No way. You guys are mad

    September 21, 2016
    Reply
  30. bg sm said:

    Time to add this to my "Watch Later" playlist, I guess..

    September 23, 2016
    Reply
  31. Benoni Holt said:

    You know it's bad too when you clean the whole house, take the dog for a walk, cook a homemade meal AND reorganise the under stairs cupboard in order to avoid doing that assignment!

    September 24, 2016
    Reply
  32. Ave AintHere said:

    I'm just lazy

    September 25, 2016
    Reply
  33. TheMAgenda said:

    1st 5 seconds = YUP!

    September 26, 2016
    Reply
  34. T D said:

    Funny how I watched this while procrastinating my physics homework

    October 3, 2016
    Reply
  35. bob manperson said:

    I'm not procrastinating
    I'm just amateur-crastinating

    October 13, 2016
    Reply
  36. Bruh... said:

    I have a term paper due in 7 hours fml xc

    November 3, 2016
    Reply
  37. shah asad said:

    Man, just one question.
    How do you make these videos. Please let me know the tools you used.

    November 10, 2016
    Reply
  38. Ethan VanSomeren said:

    A great way to help stop procrastination. Is to count down from 10, giving your thoughts as much time needed to count down. Thinking to yourself, I need to move when im done counting!
    Example : 10…9…8…………2………………………..1! Then at one, start moving your body or get up.
    This has always helped me. So hopefully it may help someone else out there.

    November 24, 2016
    Reply
  39. Saraswati Donahue said:

    why is water so hot it feels cold?

    December 3, 2016
    Reply
  40. Kesh Harry said:

    Help me!!!

    December 5, 2016
    Reply
  41. A Fax Machine said:

    Why am I still here?

    December 9, 2016
    Reply
  42. Chloe Harrison said:

    Avoiding geography homework by watching this

    December 21, 2016
    Reply
  43. venky yo said:

    how many skipped the video and went to comments !!

    January 3, 2017
    Reply
  44. Maisie said:

    It's like telling a sick person why they're sick . You can't just ask a procrastinator why they procrastinate. I strongly believe it's genetic. If you have a mother or a father or a grandfather who procrastinates greatly chances are you do the same thing. So it's hard for a procrastinator to change themselves.

    January 3, 2017
    Reply
  45. Anna Whiting said:

    I'm both a procrastinator and a perfectionist and it sucks.

    January 29, 2017
    Reply
  46. Dinesh Agarwal said:

    Can you explain fighting impulses ? What it means ?

    February 5, 2017
    Reply
  47. K.happened Phan Anh Tú said:

    I'm just too honest with myself, I KNOW I don't want to do whatever I have to do and I just can't lie to me

    February 7, 2017
    Reply
  48. Kate Russel said:

    true

    February 14, 2017
    Reply
  49. Kate Russel said:

    I should be reviewing for exams tomorrow but I'm here learning how to stop procrastinating.

    February 14, 2017
    Reply
  50. Infidel said:

    This is a good video. I'll share this video later.

    February 18, 2017
    Reply
  51. blythe duchene said:

    i'm procrastinating sleeping wtf

    March 3, 2017
    Reply
  52. ell said:

    When you're watching this to procrastinate…

    March 21, 2017
    Reply
  53. Marion Fiedler Music said:

    procrastinate for the sake of procrastination. … ehm… busted.

    March 23, 2017
    Reply
  54. Marion Fiedler Music said:

    procrastinate for the sake of procrastination. … ehm… busted.

    March 23, 2017
    Reply
  55. AIS said:

    This video looks like it's going to be very helpful! I'll make sure to save it to watch later.

    March 29, 2017
    Reply
  56. alisha said:

    "the essay that ruined my social life:
    me: pfft i never had a social life

    April 16, 2017
    Reply
  57. Ventum Orientalum said:

    I found this video on Watch Later….

    April 16, 2017
    Reply
  58. Loxer150Gaming said:

    Even if I stay away from distractions I would literally just daydream and do nothing.

    May 1, 2017
    Reply
  59. Jenny said:

    I'm actually supposed to be doing homework now…

    May 18, 2017
    Reply
  60. Š said:

    I have two exams tomorrow and im currently procrastinating. TBH i tried studying i slept as soon i as i read the first word which was 'the' 🙂

    May 24, 2017
    Reply
  61. Namita R said:

    you know this is from 2012 bc of the Wii remote

    May 30, 2017
    Reply
  62. Engku Fizz said:

    this help me a lot thanks

    July 23, 2017
    Reply
  63. Dylan Bednarz said:

    The problem with this is that it only works on neurotypical people but people with Aspergers like me actually have problems with getting motivated or even while working we end procrastinating with over research or if we start something we interested in or one of our obsessions we hyper focus which means forgetting about even certain biological needs till we have to get up

    August 22, 2017
    Reply
  64. DOGE™ said:

    Lol our teacher made us watch this so technically I'm not procrastinating XDD

    September 14, 2017
    Reply
  65. I am a Crusader said:

    This video offends me. I sexually identify myself as procrastination.

    September 25, 2017
    Reply
  66. Molly Coote said:

    I’ve probably watched 6 videos on how to stop procrastinating………..realised I’m procrastinating by trying to stop procrastinating😂😫

    October 9, 2017
    Reply
  67. Isaam Alhabash said:

    That first part of the video was so true.

    November 1, 2017
    Reply
  68. Bhavesh Singh said:

    I have uninstalled fb…and then u r saying ask question on it..that i have…now…i m uninsatling utube too…

    November 16, 2017
    Reply
  69. Megan Thompson said:

    Now the next part finding the will power not to keep playing on your phone

    November 30, 2017
    Reply
  70. Zoe Etherington said:

    "Let's face it: by watching this video you're procrastinating'

    Me: No I'm not!
    Me: Stares at homework
    Me: Five more minutes.

    December 12, 2017
    Reply
  71. Condemned World said:

    How am I to remove the temptation when it's thinking in general?

    December 14, 2017
    Reply
  72. DarCowNova said:

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu….

    January 31, 2018
    Reply
  73. Kayel said:

    Im avoiding sleep right now.

    February 5, 2018
    Reply
  74. Kei said:

    Why is it called tomato technique…?

    February 12, 2018
    Reply
  75. DragonFang 409 said:

    Thank you, this really helped!

    March 14, 2018
    Reply
  76. ChefGourmet said:

    I'm watching a video about procrastination while procrastinating on a project I have to do about procrastination

    April 10, 2018
    Reply
  77. spacechampion said:

    Reward myself with the internet??? Are you freaking crazy!!! That's how I got into this mess 25 years ago. haven't stopped procrastinating since.

    April 12, 2018
    Reply
  78. KalzCampbell09 said:

    My reward is a ten hour break

    April 17, 2018
    Reply
  79. Laura Candelaria said:

    The Flora app is a pomodoro timer that plants a tree (on your dime) if you fail (go to any app except the timer). If you suceed though it plants something in your digital garden, which is a simple nice reward, i like it.

    May 23, 2018
    Reply
  80. Kayla Smith said:

    I'll procrastinate tomorrow

    May 24, 2018
    Reply
  81. KC Raeken said:

    0:01 seconds in and ASAP science is already reading my mind

    May 24, 2018
    Reply
  82. Braeden Hamson said:

    StayFocusd Is a great chrome plug in. You can set it to block certain websites.

    May 28, 2018
    Reply
  83. Lady Arctic said:

    Im procrastinating studying for my science test tomorrow

    Also that phone tho

    May 30, 2018
    Reply
  84. Lottie L said:

    I procrastinated watching this video, it's been on my watch list for weeks…

    June 7, 2018
    Reply
  85. Giovani Murari said:

    The best plan is to procrastinate about procastinating. It works…

    June 11, 2018
    Reply
  86. dub man said:

    And add this video to watchlater ✅

    June 26, 2018
    Reply
  87. Vicky V said:

    It's bad enough if you love someone with this issue but if the TASK that's being put off involves others, that is incredibly frustrating. Our Dad passed away 1 year ago this month. My Brother is the Executor and hasn't Probated the WILL yet, even though I have done all of the leg work, got the forms ready, spoke to the Court and gave him a list to go by ( He was an almost straight A student in school so he DOES know to take care of business without my help), he used the excuse that he would wait until the Fall of year to give us a bit of time, then he said he would wait until after the first of the year because the Holidays need to be out of the way, then he said the traffic was too much due to a parade in February, then he said he was having trouble with the car ( which the car was giving trouble at the time), then it was I'll do it soon, that was in March, now here is is July and he still hasn't done it. I even offered to drive him and go in with him and that insulted him. He has called me up and never does unless he wants something from me or wants to let me have it. Boy, he called me up on several occasions and blasted me while I was in a store shopping and told me off in a rage and then tells that all he ever gets from me is nothing good that if he looks at his FB messenger he thinks oh no. He said all of those times he fussed at me that I was the reason that his blood pressure is up. Asked me silly questions blaming me. Well, he can go somewhere ever single day of the week so why can't he just simply do this one thing? He said, oh well probating is the easy part, executing it is other. What in the world am I going to do? He a terrible HOARDER as well. Just piles up things so you have to climb over everything. Refuses to throw out most things. You should see him room and the rest of the house is getting that way, it is disgusting. I love my brother but I can't take this behaviour. I have to send everything via Messenger because he stays in his room most of the time and will not sit down and speak to you in person. He would do the same thing to our Dad when he was alive. My Dad would say, I wish he would just come in here and talk to me, he comes to the end of the hall for a few seconds and then goes back to his room. My Dad needed his son to talk to and my brother never liked talking for very long to my Dad, my Dad loved to talk for hours on end and my Brother is the opposite. Oh boy!

    July 1, 2018
    Reply
  88. Green Panda said:

    Well i will watch the video later…

    July 5, 2018
    Reply
  89. StarterPackish said:

    the reason i procrastinate is
    1.

    August 19, 2018
    Reply
  90. Flute Løøps said:

    That Pomodoro Effect doesn't even work for me. I'm literally hopeless.

    September 1, 2018
    Reply
  91. Flute Løøps said:

    I'm procrastinating sleep right now…

    What is wrong with me? I might need real, actual help.

    September 1, 2018
    Reply
  92. nina alison said:

    the description is gold

    September 13, 2018
    Reply
  93. Marie Pronteau said:

    Hey you! Quit scrolling through the comments and do some work!

    September 24, 2018
    Reply
  94. Matthew Byron said:

    this was pretty #lit

    October 15, 2018
    Reply
  95. Eternal Fun said:

    i downloaded and procrastinated from watching this video for a week😂😂

    November 1, 2018
    Reply
  96. creative crave said:

    I rely on my future self too much

    November 16, 2018
    Reply
  97. 4d722e2052656473746f6e65 - Komentování said:

    What if your sister is the distraction?

    January 5, 2019
    Reply
  98. Yetek said:

    I'm watching this for homework tho

    April 3, 2019
    Reply
  99. PixCel said:

    ill do it later.

    April 18, 2019
    Reply
  100. • I am a Funny YouTuber lol said:

    I will comment later lol.

    June 10, 2019
    Reply

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