Every kid remembers the day they learnt to use Ctrl + Alt + Delete.
It meant that whenever their computer froze, they could do something about it. They could see which program was at fault and terminate it rather than be passive observers. It meant empowerment.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves drifting away from what we ought to be doing. During these times, something doesn’t feel right. Like how we ought to be working on our report or studying for an exam rather than checking our phone. In the words of Stephen Covey, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” And yet, this is a constant battle.
When we perform a difficult task, it activates our insular cortex – a region of the brain associated with pain. This causes us to put off our task and seek relief with a quick hit of dopamine – by checking our phone or by reaching out for a snack. This mechanism in the brain is the root cause of procrastination.
When it is triggered, it helps to open the task managers of our brains. Through training in mindfulness, one becomes aware of the mental processes in the background that cause us to procrastinate or trigger our anxiety. By being mindful, we are able to zero in on the cause of the problem and pay attention to it.
Being mindful lets us access the task manager to our brain. It puts choice back in our hands as our brains drift away from the essential.