The Indecision Cycle

No-brainer decisions, like jumping in a pool to rescue a drowning child, are driven by a very fast-thinking part of the brain (known as the prefrontal cortex). When you jump in to save a theoretical child in need, you’re driven by that emotional part of your brain — and you don’t spend time analyzing how deep the water is, how to best approach the rescue, etc.

Most tasks, however, utilize rational parts of our brain. Unfortunately, these are the same parts of our minds that helped us avoid danger in primitive times. As a result, we approach an Excel spreadsheet the same way we foraged for food as cavemen — by looking at all the possible dangers behind it, and constantly analyzing the best approach. It’s a slow and inefficient process that causes procrastination, and stress only makes it worse.

The key here is to end the indecision cycle by to activating the proper parts of your brain.

While you cannot immediately flush out procrastination out of your system, you can start by conditioning your mind into focusing on what is important and knowing that you can do it (or at least take a crack at it) during the 5-second window.

Elle Kaplan writing in Medium