ELI5: Why is everything so much more interesting when you’re procrastinating?

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Dopamine is the main reason, we usually like scrolling on social media over studying, because dopamine works when there is expectation of something satisfiying’s about to happen. For example, dopamine is secreted when you are looking for a funny post, not when you actually find it.


I’m too lazy to describe in detail but it’s basically because your brain is wired for short term gratification. You are probably wiring your brain for these short bursts of dopamine every day without even realizing it. Checking your phone first thing in the morning, checking every notification you get, scrolling on social media endlessly. It rewires the brain to appreciate short term gratification and dopamine, making real tasks seem abysmal and boring so you’ll take anything else but the task.


Also, if it’s a real problem look into ADHD. It’s a real struggle for a lot of people. Social stigma has turned it into kind of a joke thing but if you really have it, medication can totally transform your life


Boredom is illegal to a procrastinator. If you’re bored, then you could be cleaning, etc. But if you’re never bored then there’s endless fascination to waste your concentration on.


You can think about it on multiple levels: biochemically and experientially (how it feels for you when youre living through this). Biochemically: There are reward pathways in the brain that like short-term gratification, so you get “happy chemicals” when you do the short-term gratification which makes you feel enjoyment/reward. Experientially: Focus is a hard thing to develop, like a muscle. When you are trying to force yourself to focus on something that isn’t easy/fun, you are constantly thinking of other things and easily taken off track. And when you impulsively click away from your target task, you get the biochemical burst of happy chemicals, since that is what your brain is used to.