Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator - Deepstash

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In the TED Talk titled "Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator," Tim Urban, a writer and blogger, delves into the intriguing world of procrastination. With humor and insightful storytelling, he provides a fascinating exploration of what goes on inside the mind of someone who excels in the art of procrastination.


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Defining Procastinating

Defining Procastinating

Urban begins by defining procrastination as the act of postponing tasks despite knowing the negative consequences. He humorously refers to the procrastinator's brain as having an instant gratification monkey that often overrides the rational decision-maker, which he calls the "rational decision-maker." This inner struggle between instant gratification and long-term planning is central to understanding procrastination.


218 reads

The Rational Decision-Maker

The Rational Decision-Maker

This character represents the rational, logical part of a procrastinator's brain. It's the aspect of the mind that knows the importance of getting work done, planning for the future, and making responsible decisions. The Rational Decision-Maker is the one who sets out to create schedules and to-do lists, full of ambitious goals and deadlines. It envisions a productive life and long-term success.


200 reads

The Instant Gratification Monkey

The Instant Gratification Monkey

The Instant Gratification Monkey embodies the impulsive, pleasure-seeking side of the brain. This character is the source of distraction, temptation, and immediate gratification. The Instant Gratification Monkey is always on the lookout for fun, easy, and enjoyable activities, often leading the procrastinator down a path of indulgence, such as binge-watching TV shows, scrolling through social media, or playing video games. The monkey doesn't have a sense of responsibility or concern for long-term consequences, making it a formidable adversary to the Rational Decision-Maker.


182 reads

The Dark Playground

The Dark Playground

To visualize the concept further, Urban introduces the "Dark Playground," a place where procrastinators waste time on unproductive activities, and the "Panic Monster," a character that only shows up when deadlines are imminent. The "Panic Monster" is a key driver for procrastinators to finally complete their tasks.


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The Panic Monster

The Panic Monster

The Panic Monster is a dramatic character that enters the scene only when deadlines approach with terrifying speed. This character represents the intense pressure and anxiety that procrastinators feel when they realize the impending consequences of their inaction. The Panic Monster forces the procrastinator into a hyperproductive state, enabling them to complete tasks at the last minute. It's the only entity capable of overpowering the Instant Gratification Monkey and getting the Rational Decision-Maker back in control.


168 reads

Importance of Deadline

Importance of Deadline

Urban also emphasizes the importance of deadlines in the life of a procrastinator. He humorously suggests that procrastinators depend on external deadlines to awaken their "Panic Monster." This highlights the need for individuals to create self-imposed deadlines and understand the consequences of not meeting them.


170 reads



In conclusion, Tim Urban's TED Talk, "Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator," provides a lighthearted yet thought-provoking look at the complex nature of procrastination. By highlighting the inner struggles, external deadlines, and the role of the "Panic Monster," he encourages us to gain a deeper understanding of this universal challenge. The talk ultimately urges individuals to take control of their time management and make the most of their productive potential.


158 reads



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It provides a humorous yet profound insight into the universal struggle with procrastination, helping viewers better understand the inner workings of their own minds.


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