It’s human nature; we all get lazy, bored and sluggish at times.

After all, it’s impossible to run on high gear every moment of every day.  It’s not healthy, realistic, or even productive.

Certain times of the day, week, month, or year, can amplify this. For example, warmer, sunnier months tend to energize us. However, if it’s too hot, we may feel the need to slow down and cool off.  Meanwhile, in the colder winter months, we may feel like hibernating— like grizzly bears in the wilderness. We become less active and are less likely to start new projects or take on new goals.

Why, however, do so many of us intentionally resist prioritizing personal and professional actions that we know need to be tackled and that would make the world of difference if we did them— not to mention, make us feel great, too?

Why? Because we’re human!

Believe it or not, there is a scientific explanation as to why Homo Sapiens put things off and procrastinate.


Your limbic system focuses on responding to immediate pressing issues such as hunger, fear, and anxiety. It’s the part of your brain that controls your behavior and emotional responses and plays a key role in your survival.

Whereas, your neo cortex, the more evolved brain region which makes us uniquely human, performs tasks such as language, spatial reasoning, and planning for your future.  

Because your limbic system and neo cortex have different roles, they are engaged in a constant tug of war as to whose priorities are more important and will be acted upon.

Frequently your limbic system will win, because it’s focused on the here and now and kicks into gear quickly and automatically.


While you aren’t lazy or lacking in will power, you will have a natural tendency to put off efforts which would yield greater results in the longer term.  Regardless whether your neo cortex knows that doing something difficult will be good for you, your limbic system will put it off— it’s not an immediate survival issue.

Additionally, if it requires extra effort or if the possibility of failure is associated with it, your limbic system, which seeks pleasure and avoids pain, will perceive it as too daunting.


  • Delaying the start of an exercise or nutritional regime
  • Avoiding  the de-cluttering of our workspace, closets, or garage
  • Putting off an important discussion with a family member or colleague
  • Not learning that foreign language for a special trip you’d like to take
  • Ignoring retirement planning or getting finances in order


1. Make it fun now:  If you don’t like going to the gym to exercise, find a workout partner to chat with; you can encourage each other.  Make a favorite music playlist to listen to which will keep you energized.  Or find an activity that gets you moving in ways that you actually do enjoy, such as dancing, hiking, or gardening.  

2. Modify your goal:  It’s better to do something than nothing! While it may be ideal to work out 3 to 4 times a week to achieve your fitness goals, you may never get started if your limbic system doesn’t cooperate. Instead, commit to working out 2 times a week instead. Basically, don’t play by the “all or nothing” philosophy. Be realistic and start with a plan you can commit to.

3. Chunk it down:  Since your limbic system loves immediate results, turn long-term goals into short-term tasks you can accomplish immediately.  This will be more productive over time anyway, since any big goal has many steps along the way to make it happen. Once you build some momentum, keep it up, as your limbic brain will produce happy brain chemicals by seeing frequent tangible results.

4. Time yourself:   For activities or chores that you keep putting off, like cleaning up your storage area, organizing a get-together with friends, or writing thank you cards, commit to doing it for five minutes.  It will be something your limbic system won’t get overwhelmed with and resist. Once you get started, you’ll start to notice results, and the sense of productivity may keep you going longer.

5. Cognition ignition:   Intentionallyswitch on’ your whole brain connection so you have access to a greater amount of synchronized brain resources. When we are in stress or have an internal battle going on, we are likely out of coherence and not in a state of balance or integration. With Brain Fitness activities, we can quickly and easily move back into connection and be more equipped to make the decisions that are in our best interest, both currently and long term  

So there you go; this explains the simple science of procrastination, what causes it, and how you can start to make greater headway on your goals and to achieve greater results regardless of your tendency to put things off until tomorrow.

Let me know how it goes…sooner than later!  😉

To your productivity,