Japan Has An Anti-Procrastination Café — Here's What That Means

Why do today what you can do tomorrow? If this would make an ideal title for your real-life story, you may have already decided to read this article another day. If, however, you are still here, you may be interested in learning more about procrastination. According to a recent poll conducted by CBS News, 27% of Americans have a tendency to put off doing things. (This number may have been higher if the procrastinators got around to doing the poll). The survey also reveals that women and people between the ages of 45 and 64 are most likely to say they "git 'er done." So why do some people procrastinate on the simplest tasks, while others whip through some, like tackling the perfect hard-boiled egg?

According to a study by Psychological Science of 264 brains, people who lean towards procrastination possess significantly larger amygdalas — the section of the brain that "processes our emotions and controls our motivations" (via BBC). On top of this, procrastinators also tend to have poor connections between the amygdala and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (DACC). The DACC relies on information from the amygdala to decide what it will tell the body to do. This bigger-than-usual amygdala may result in greater anxiety and less emotional control, which will then make the DACC decide not to do something — in other words, it will decide to procrastinate. 

While this is all very interesting, you are likely wondering what you can do to overcome your big amygdala. 

You must set a goal at this task-oriented café

Three recommendations that Lifehack suggests for defeating procrastination include seeking out an environment that is conducive to focusing on the task at hand, creating a realistic deadline that has been broken down into doable steps, and surrounding yourself with people who inspire you to get things done. Interestingly, Tokyo's "Manuscript Writing Café" provides all of the above.

Need an ideal setting that's conducive to work? No problem. Insider explains that this café is limited to just 10 seats, so noise will be kept to a minimum. Plus, you won't have to worry about getting up to prepare a drink. Your spot comes with as much tea or coffee as you can consume. Do you want to set a deadline that explicitly states your goal? They've got this covered too. According to Japan Today, one of the first things you will be asked to do upon entering the café is to write down how many words you need to write and when you will have them completed. Yes, you must commit to a measurable goal in writing. 

How do you go about surrounding yourself with motivational people in a room full of strangers focused on their own tasks? This is where it gets interesting. 

You can choose the level of nagging you'll receive

Before venturing into the Manuscript Writing Café, it is important to identify just how much prompting, nudging, and downright nagging you will require to reach your goal. Yes, the folks at this quirky spot will customize their "poking and prodding" to your wishes. Vice reports that the "mild" option will involve the occasional "How's it going?" CNN says the "normal" selection will spark them to check on you every 30 minutes, and that "hard" will leave them hovering over your shoulder. Vice admits that it may also involve shaming. So, before opting for this choice, you may want to don your thickest skin and get ready to bite your tongue a lot. 

You are not to leave until you've accomplished your task. Insider warns that they post a board with the names of those who had the audacity to leave without completing their goals. And besides possibly sacrificing your self-respect, there is a fee for all this nagging and name-posting. The first half-hour will cost roughly $1.00 and each hour after that will run you $2.34 (via CNN). If you manage to finish a task that you've been putting off for ages, it's well worth the expense to both your soul and your wallet. 

The only clincher may be the lengthy flight to Japan, the home of sashimi and Japanese katsu. And now you have another reason to procrastinate.