The Brain on Procrastination(and what you can do about it)Learner Procrastination: Why They Do It(and How to Respond)DQ: W...
(but the habit starts in elementary)of college students engage in frequentacademic procrastination95%(but the habit starts...
6 weeksREASON #1Because time is too abstract to their brains, they feel nourgency.
REASON #2Because the project’s limited unpredictability, novelty, valueand/or pleasure results in low dopamine levels andt...
REASON #3Because it’s got a small neural footprint(it’s harder for the hippocampus to access it)Your ProjectSportsSex
Brains arewired forpresentbias resultofHyberbolicdiscountingby fronto-parietalnetworkREASON #4Because hyperbolic discounti...
REASON #5Because the amygdala goes into fight mode due to overloading andjust reacts to the most imminent item.
Reason #6Because the amygdala goes into flight mode when it feelsoverwhelmed and doesn’t know where to start.
Reason #7Because fear and anxiety overarouse the brain withnorepinephrine and lock out frontal lobe.
There is hope!
Intervention #1Make time concrete and visual to enable the brainto place tasks and urgency into context.START FINISHYou ar...
Intervention #2Set deadlines to raiseurgency, dopamine andnorepinephrine.
Intervention #3Keep the project top of mindin multiple, original ways tomake it easier for thehippocampus to access it
Intervention #4Build a big neural footprint by connecting theproject with existing concepts & interest areas
Intervention #5Use humor and surpriseCatch the attention of theanterior cingulate cortex by triggeringa prediction error a...
Intervention # 6Raise dopamine throughnoveltyiPhone 10
Intervention #7Use rewards.Expecting a positive event generates dopamine(food, positive social interactions, money)
Intervention #8Remove fear and anxiety through aculture of effort, revision and redemption.
Intervention #9Teach them how tobreak any task intosmall enough steps tocreate ownership andsidestep the amygdala.
Intervention #10Baby Bear balance their arousal
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The Brain on Procrastination (and How to Respond)

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Alternative Academic Title:
Learner Procrastination: Why They Do It (and How to Respond)

Parental Driving Question:
What the F*** Can I Do about Student Procrastination?

Topic Overview
Find out what is happening in your students’ brains when they procrastinate. Learn the common factors which cause students to procrastinate on projects. Discover the best practices for projects to engage students’ brains and help them own their learning outcomes. The session will be a intersection of neuroscience’s latest evidence-based research with PBL best practices

Three Big Ideas you will learn:
The importance of and methods for:
1. Helping students break projects into achievable subgoals
2. Growing a project’s neural footprint until it reaches critical mass
3. Creating ownership, urgency and accountability

Education and PBL World Relevance
By understanding how the brain works, we can better set students up for success. There are specific steps you can take which make it easier for students to engage with projects.

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The Brain on Procrastination (and How to Respond)

  1. 1. The Brain on Procrastination(and what you can do about it)Learner Procrastination: Why They Do It(and How to Respond)DQ: What the F*** can I do aboutStudent Procrastination?Dion Lim, CEO, PacerRabbitdion@pacerrabbit.com
  2. 2. (but the habit starts in elementary)of college students engage in frequentacademic procrastination95%(but the habit starts young)
  3. 3. 6 weeksREASON #1Because time is too abstract to their brains, they feel nourgency.
  4. 4. REASON #2Because the project’s limited unpredictability, novelty, valueand/or pleasure results in low dopamine levels andtherefore, low interest.
  5. 5. REASON #3Because it’s got a small neural footprint(it’s harder for the hippocampus to access it)Your ProjectSportsSex
  6. 6. Brains arewired forpresentbias resultofHyberbolicdiscountingby fronto-parietalnetworkREASON #4Because hyperbolic discountingby the fronto-parietal networkvalues present certainty overdelayed gratification.
  7. 7. REASON #5Because the amygdala goes into fight mode due to overloading andjust reacts to the most imminent item.
  8. 8. Reason #6Because the amygdala goes into flight mode when it feelsoverwhelmed and doesn’t know where to start.
  9. 9. Reason #7Because fear and anxiety overarouse the brain withnorepinephrine and lock out frontal lobe.
  10. 10. There is hope!
  11. 11. Intervention #1Make time concrete and visual to enable the brainto place tasks and urgency into context.START FINISHYou arehere Today
  12. 12. Intervention #2Set deadlines to raiseurgency, dopamine andnorepinephrine.
  13. 13. Intervention #3Keep the project top of mindin multiple, original ways tomake it easier for thehippocampus to access it
  14. 14. Intervention #4Build a big neural footprint by connecting theproject with existing concepts & interest areas
  15. 15. Intervention #5Use humor and surpriseCatch the attention of theanterior cingulate cortex by triggeringa prediction error and dopamine
  16. 16. Intervention # 6Raise dopamine throughnoveltyiPhone 10
  17. 17. Intervention #7Use rewards.Expecting a positive event generates dopamine(food, positive social interactions, money)
  18. 18. Intervention #8Remove fear and anxiety through aculture of effort, revision and redemption.
  19. 19. Intervention #9Teach them how tobreak any task intosmall enough steps tocreate ownership andsidestep the amygdala.
  20. 20. Intervention #10Baby Bear balance their arousal

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