World-Class Procrastinator?

Time Management

How the right brain sees time


Welcome to my first blog. Here I will be providing tips and commentary to empower the learners in your family, whether they are middle or high schoolers, or perhaps college or adult students. 

Today’s topic was inspired by my terrific experiences with my summer study skills camps in August.  As we discussed in class, neuroscientists have helped us understand that each hemisphere of our brain (i.e. the left brain or the right brain) seems to care about totally different things.  It’s like having an Odd Couple in our brain!  Discussing this with the students, we began talking in terms of our internal advisors.

Imagine for a moment that learning style, the way each person learns best, can be understood as the voice of a particular internal advisor.  It is a very intimate advisor, whose thoughts seem to be our thoughts.  Pretend for a moment that each side of your brain serves as a very distinctive advisor to you for your learning. It is fascinating to discover how very different the advice is, depending on whether it is the voice of the left or right side of your brain.

I’m guessing you see the outcome of such internal, brain-based advice in your own home, without knowing where it  comes from.  Let’s take a visual or right- brain learner and look at their relationship to time.  Frequently, they are world-class procrastinators, in situations as diverse as being on time to doing long-term projects.  So what is their internal advisor telling them about time, and why?

A key to this advisor is to realize that there is essentially no built-in clock in the right brain, tracking the passage of time minute-to-minute.  (You will find that function in the left brain, by the way.)  In fact, this advisor has a much better relationship to infinite time.  So, when it comes for decisions about time, say starting homework, going to bed, or starting that long-term project, what does the right-brain learner hear?  “You have lots of time!”  “You can always do it later.”  “If you don’t feel like doing it now, put it off.”

Yet, when I ask students what their left-brain advisor says about time decisions, they always respond with “Do it now!”  “Get it done.”  “Get it over with and then do what you want.”  They are always surprised to find out they have such different advisors dwelling in their mind.  The good new is of course, that once they know they can access two such different advisors, they have much more power to make decisions that work for them.

As another benefit, many students report a whole new understanding of their always on time Mom or Dad.  “Oh, they are in their left brain!”

Understanding the very different voices, gifts, strengths and limitations of each side of the brain opens up a whole different world of understanding and new possibilities for all learners. Much of the “knocking heads” comes from a miscommunication when one person’s left side of the brain is unknowingly being received by another person’s right side! They never see it eye to eye.

If you found this article has whetted your appetite, you may be interested in learning more about my classes, workshops for parents, and my book “What’s My Style?  Test and Study Strategies for Procrastinating Teens An Owner’s Manual for Your Brain,” at

Let me hear from you with your comments and questions.  Sign up to receive my future blogs. Or send me an email at And please forward this to others you think would be interested.


Love the blog - well

Love the blog - well said.

Joan Brown Mason
Teacher, Mother, Business Owner

Betty, Your comments about

Your comments about understanding different learners from a brain research perspective are right on. We may not have all the answers yet in the area of neuro and cognitive sciences but it's so important that right brained, global thinkers such as yourself are helping others see the 'big picture' and make the connections that will help them in so many practical ways. Keep up the great posts!

Katharina Boser, Ph.D.
President, Individual Differences in Learning
And Founder, Boser Educational Technologies

Congrats with this, Betty.

Congrats with this, Betty. This is great! I just subscribed, and I found this article to be very informative. (from a “left-brain” Dad)

Thank you for passing along

Thank you for passing along this resource. I will be sure to share it.

Oh Betty: You are on to

Oh Betty:
You are on to something with your current comments and directions.

I have learned over time to clearly outline all assignments for the entire semester with suggested timelines, but then allow the graduate student to determine their own pace. Some will complete most all of the work very quickly; others will not post or turnin anything until the very last possible date. Some will follow my suggestions precisely. I then use this activity to help educators to understand that all of these differences are normal individual differences; we therefore need to do everything we can to train people to know themselves and be understanding of differences in others.
I first learned this while studying under Dr. John Cannon of Carkhuff associates.

I will be directing my current Brain and Learning class to your website.

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As Of August 2018, No Middle Or High School Classes Will Be Scheduled In The Near Future.

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