Why Do I Only Feel Motivated When a Deadline Is Looming?


Do you find yourself putting off tasks until the last minute, only to feel a sudden surge of motivation as the deadline approaches? If so, you're not alone. Many people struggle with motivation and procrastination, and often find that they work best when under pressure.

But why is this the case? Why do we only feel motivated when a deadline is looming? In this article, we'll explore some of the reasons behind this phenomenon and offer some tips for how to overcome it.

The Fear of Failure

One of the main reasons we procrastinate is the fear of failure. We worry that we won't be able to complete the task to a satisfactory level, so we put it off. However, as the deadline approaches, the fear of not completing the task at all becomes greater than the fear of failure, and we finally get to work.

The Dopamine Rush

When we complete a task, our brains release dopamine, which gives us a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. However, if we start a task too early, the dopamine rush is delayed, and we don't get that immediate reward. By waiting until the last minute, we get a rush of dopamine as we complete the task, which can be addictive.

The Pressure to Perform

Deadlines create a sense of urgency, which can motivate us to work harder and more efficiently. When we have a lot of time to complete a task, we may feel less pressure to perform, and as a result, we may not put in as much effort.

How to Overcome Procrastination and Increase Motivation

  • Break Tasks Down - Instead of trying to tackle a large task all at once, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will make the task feel less overwhelming and more achievable.
  • Set Goals and Rewards - Set specific goals for yourself, and reward yourself when you reach them. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going.
  • Change Your Environment - Sometimes, a change of scenery can help you feel more motivated. Try working in a different location or changing the layout of your workspace to make it more conducive to productivity.
  • Eliminate Distractions - Turn off your phone, close your email, and eliminate any other distractions that may be keeping you from getting your work done.
  • Hold Yourself Accountable - Tell someone about your goals and ask them to hold you accountable. This will give you an added sense of motivation and help keep you on track.

While it's common to feel more motivated when a deadline is looming, it's important to recognize the negative impact procrastination can have on our productivity and mental well-being. By understanding why we procrastinate and implementing strategies to overcome it, we can increase our motivation and achieve our goals.

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