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  • This episode is supported by Squarespace.

  • You are watching this video... well, let's be real with each other: you should probably be doing something else.

  • Maybe you're at work, maybe you should be studying.

  • Perhaps you should be writing that thing you've been writing, and you should definitely be paying more attention to your site.

  • But the good news is that procrastinating by watching certain YouTube videos, it can be classified as effective procrastination.

  • Actually, there's a number of ways you can effectively waste time that lead to a boost in problem-solving, productivity, and creativity.

  • Scientific research is truly beautiful!

  • Researchers at the University of Melbourne have published a number of studies on workplace internet leisure browsing.

  • I excel at workplace internet leisure browsing.

  • In one study, researchers found that workers who surf the internet for fun at work within a reasonable time limit-- say less than 20% of their total time in the office-- are 9% more productive than those who don't.

  • From this and follow up studies, researchers argue that workplace internet leisure browsing is an unobtrusive interruption which enables restoration of mental capacity, and fosters feelings of autonomy.

  • Another study out of the University of California titled "Inspired by distraction" found when participants did an undemanding task, compared to doing a demanding task, resting, or having no break, it led to substantial improvements in performance on a problem they'd encountered before.

  • Researchers concluded that allowing the mind to wander through simple tasks can boost creative problem-solving.

  • Originally, scientists thought mind wandering allowed the brain to rest and returning to the problem well rested was all you would need to solve it.

  • Now some scientists think that mind wandering might distract you from your perceived obstacles.

  • And brain imaging research shows that while you're doing another simple task, the brain regions responsible for decision-making keep working.

  • Your brain is unconsciously process the information related to your decisions.

  • I think that's pretty cool!

  • And there are lots of ways to distract yourself and procrastinate.

  • I know more than anyone. But there are ways to do it effectively.

  • First up, make sure a simple task is just that, simple, and not related to a problem you're trying to solve.

  • So don't do logic puzzles when you're trying to solve a math problem.

  • Instead watch goat videos on YouTube.

  • Next, avoid activities that are ego-driven: meaning checking Facebook, Instagram, and generally distractions filled with friends, family, and other personalities you're familiar with.

  • And if you're not trying to problem-solve, but just really have a problem with procrastinating, you can use a strategy called implementation intention, where you make a list of all the things you need to do.

  • And if you're distracted or taking a break then do them one by one.

  • Also, you could just go for a walk.

  • Lots of studies show that people who go on daily walks score higher on tests that measure creative thinking and productivity.

  • Of course, putting these findings into practice effectively all depends on you finding the right balance of work and downtime activities that are almost useless.

  • So the next time you're procrastinating, keep in mind that it can have benefits.

  • Try un-focusing your attention.

  • Spending short periods of time doing simple tasks can have a positive effect on your decision-making and creative thinking abilities, just like watching this video of the Sun in ultra HD.

  • It's a great way to procrastinate!

  • Thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode.

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  • Squarespace provides an all-in-one platform with templates that allow you to easily set up a website.

  • There's nothing to install, patch or upgrade ever.

  • I use Squarespace for my personal website where you can look at another image of my face, and read all about my life up until this point.

  • Start your free trial at and enter the offer code braincraft to get 10% off your first purchase.

  • And brain imaging--.

  • Oh my god that was disgusting!

  • There is no warning. It just happened! Now, some scientists think that-- how can I go on?

  • Please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thank you very much! That's all I have.

This episode is supported by Squarespace.

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How To Procrastinate Effectively

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    Rachel Kung posted on 2019/03/17
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