Animation produced by Grumo Media
Adapted by Ross Bollinger
Based on this article by WaitBuyWhy: http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html
We want to thank the folks at WaitBuyWhy for letting us bring to life their awesome characters!
It’s 4am, and you’re plugging away at a term paper due the next morning. If you
consider yourself a procrastinator, most likely this is a familiar scenario.
But why does it always end up like this? Let’s take a closer look.
The average person’s brain is piloted by what we call the Rational Decision-Maker.
But the procrastinator’s brain contains a stow-away known as the Instant
and just when you’re getting started on that paper, the monkey takes the wheel.
He inevitably sends you through a spiral of tangents,
starting with a series of YouTube videos on deep sea creatures, into a Richard
Feynman lecture on String Theory, and ending up on an interview of Justin Bieber’s
The fact is, the Instant Gratification Monkey is the last person who should be in
charge of making decisions,
but the Rational Decision-Maker doesn’t really know how to put up a fight.
He just feels worse about himself the more he fails to take charge,
And the procrastinator finds himself spending a lot of time in a place called the
This is a bizarre purgatory of weird attractions such as…
the “Refreshing My Phone Email Over and Over Roller Coaster,”
as well as the “Opening the Fridge to See if There’s anything New in There Since Ten
Minutes Ago Adventure.”
In the Dark Playground, leisure activities happen at times when they absolutely
should not to be happening.
So how does the procrastinator manage to accomplish anything?
As it turns out, there’s a third passenger on board known as the Panic Monster.
He’s the only thing that scares the Instant Gratification Monkey, and most of the
time he’s asleep.
But when your deadline gets too close, that’s when he wakes up.
With the Instant Gratification Monkey out of the picture,
The Rational Decision-Maker is left to steer the ship as quickly and efficiently as
How else could the same person who can’t write a paper’s introductory sentence in
two weeks suddenly have the ability to write eight pages overnight?
But this is no way to live.
Far too much time is spent toiling in the Dark Playground, and nobody likes the
So how can a procrastinator improve and become a happier person?
Find out next time on Grumology!
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