Have you ever delayed a task and thought of doing it later, and then when the “later” time occurred you continued to delay that certain task? Procrastination is the act of delaying something like a task, event, work, etc. In our modern world many individuals, especially students procrastinate which may lead to several negative impacts on themselves both mentally and physically. There are many methods that students can use which can reduce possible procrastination habits.
Many individuals believe that procrastination is caused by laziness, although the reason is rooted in deeper motives such as confusion and not wanting to seek clarity. For example, a student may have confusion and is in need of clarity but would delay their work as they do not know the specific instructions to follow. The reason why they would not seek clarity is due to the fear of others’ perceptions and how they would be viewed if they asked a question to a teacher or professor.
Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, leading expert on procrastination, conducted a study that adds to the point of individuals avoiding seeking clarity due to social status. It was observed that many college students engaged in self-sabotage in order to blame poor marks on deadlines rather than their own skills. The pupils that were researched opted to choose options where their public image would not be harmed by bad performance. Another reason why students procrastinate is that they want to work in a specific state of mind. They believe that they do not work in the most effective way unless they are in a certain work ethic or mood. So they wait in hopes for the “mood” or “work ethic” to strike but in reality, it just ends up delaying the time that could have been used to be productive. Students also procrastinate due to the fear of failure. A few students even have a fear of academic failure and errors which relates to perfectionism. They tend to delay their work until they are assertive they will reach high expectations. Unfortunately, their expectations are usually impossible to achieve thus making them procrastinate as a coping mechanism.
Along with procrastination comes the impacts. Procrastination can lead to many academic, mental, and physical negative impacts for students. One of the most expected results from procrastination is lower grades. Procrastination can lead to lower grades as the best effort has not been put in, due to the time that the student used in contrast to the work that could have been put in without procrastination. Additionally, students who procrastinate may also be experiencing burnout. This is because few students may often overwork themselves at the last minute and do work simultaneously for hours sitting in one place due to the reason they didn’t manage their time wisely and seek good grades and feedback. This could be not only mentally draining but physically draining, as cramming everything at once is not healthy for either brain or body causing issues like insomnia and headaches. Students may also potentially develop mental health issues. Mental health issues can easily occur as the pile-up of deadlines could cause stress, anxiety, and depression.
There are many methods that can reduce the potential habit of procrastination. One of the methods is to complete the work in a proper study environment. This eliminates distractions and leads students to be more focused on the work that is prioritized to be finished. Another useful tip is to identify productivity cycles and make a routine that matches deadlines and personal life. Using this technique is helpful to balance personal life alongside school work so that not all is crammed at once. It is also really important to be rewarded for achievements for the work that individuals have managed to accomplish to further be motivated because of productivity.
Procrastination is an issue many students deal with, can negatively impact a student physically and mentally, but can be solved through a variety of techniques.
Terada, Youki. “3 Reasons Students Procrastinate-and How to Help Them Stop.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 11 Feb. 2020, https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-reasons-students-procrastinate-and-how-help-them-stop
Prout, Todd. “Helping Students Overcome Procrastination.” National University, 6 July 2021, https://www.nu.edu/resources/helping-students-overcome-procrastination/
Haupt, Angela. “Why Do We Procrastinate, and How Can We Stop? Experts Have Answers.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 13 July 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/procrastinate-why-stop-advice/2021/07/09/13b7dc2c-e00e-11eb-9f54-7eee10b5fcd2_story.html
Jones, Ryan Patrick. “Procrastination: It's Not What You Think It Is.” Student Services, 8 Mar. 2021, https://students.ubc.ca/ubclife/procrastination-its-not-what-you-think-it
Voge, Dominic. “Why Do So Many People Procrastinate and How Do You Overcome It?” Princeton University, The Trustees of Princeton University, 2022, https://mcgraw.princeton.edu/understanding-and-overcoming-procrastination