With a seemingly endless supply of content and social media updates getting hurled at us 24/7, it’s become increasingly difficult to break the time-sucking and vicious cycle of distraction. If you’re a freelancer or one of the few digital nomads who work from home without the pressure of an afternoon presentation deadline, this problem can easily be magnified tenfold at the blink of an eye.
So how do we overcome procrastination – be it at work, at home or even on personal projects we actually go out of our way to make time for?
While there is no “one size fits all” solution for putting an end to the agonizing internal procrastination monologue, we do know how it happens (it’s a biological battle between your brain’s limbic system and prefrontal cortex) and we do know the best possible way to “cure” it (we’ll get there).
The first step towards fighting procrastination is to understand that the unconscious (and more developed) limbic system is responsible for pleasure whereas the (weaker) prefrontal cortex wants to “plan” whatever work you have to get done as soon as possible. When a distraction pops up (as they so easily do nowadays), the limbic system overrides the prefrontal cortex and the result is work put off for tomorrow that can be done today (or right now). The good news is that you do have control over it, even if it takes a little practice.
In this recently released short, filmmaker Stuart Langfield dives deeper into how we can overcome procrastination in the Age of Distraction and learn how to “do whatever it takes to get started”: