The Roots of Procrastination
In simple terms, procrastination stands for putting things off to complete them later. It’s most common among school and college learners who decide that they should focus on different things and get some rest instead of deciding to complete an urgent specific task. The reasons why a person may decide to put something off can relate to either physical or mental challenges that are being faced. When the task contains something unpleasant or too complex, there comes a sense of self-doubt or problems with self-esteem as a person seeks a way out, finding it impossible to come up with a solution.
Still, procrastination has an even deeper aspect to it! When a procrastinating student aims to make things perfect and fears doing something wrong, you also decide to put things off and take a second look at the grading rubric or choose to sit in silence to understand what to do next. Contrary to the popular belief, procrastination is not only about having bad organizational qualities and a lack of available resources. It always comes down to temporization where you must evaluate the amount of time it would take you to complete the task with all the variables involved.
Reasons For Procrastination
When you are encountering procrastination as a college learner, you should take a deeper look into your prior experiences because you have to face your fears. The most common issue, according to therapists, is a fear of failure or being unable to cope with criticism. If you’ve tried to overcome similar challenges in the past, you might already have specific mechanisms to bring yourself back on track. As always, there may be numerous factors at play that range from the setting of abstract goals that cannot be achieved to trying to fight distractions that cause dilatoriness.
The pandemic times have shown us that the sense of being overwhelmed always comes first and brings anxiety as a person tries to impress and do one’s best to achieve success. Regardless of whether you are trying to achieve perfectionism or just motivate yourself to complete things, do not mark yourself as a weak person or a lazy individual because it’s not the way how you should address the problem. Take one step at a time, acknowledge the challenge, and remember that being a procrastinating student is not the end of the world! You are not alone and there are many ways to help yourself and become a stronger person both morally and physically!
How to Stop Procrastination Guide
As a way to help you, we provide several methodologies below to let you learn why do students procrastinate and how one can find the light at the end of the tunnel!
Typical Behavior of Procrastinating Student
A procrastinator typically tends to postpone decisions, work, or specific actions when it is not necessary. The character traits that one may notice among procrastinating students include low consciousness, anxiety, aggression, being impulsive, not doing anything with self-efficacy, and low self-esteem. For example, when one has to write a term paper, about 46% of students tend to put things off because there is more time to complete the task. Now, when one must study for an exam, the percentage of students that procrastinate is lowered to 28.
The most challenging part is that students do not give themselves any credit for putting things off and do not start with anything else in most cases. If there is a week to complete a school paper, procrastinators tend to ignore the task until the final deadline even though they could work on the task earlier. Such behavior is a perfect example of procrastination, yet it does not become a trait because every situation is different. A person may be worried about something or face too many distractions to focus on the task properly. At last, a student may decide to ignore and tarry any academic activity altogether until “things get better”, which is also an example of procrastination.
If you are a procrastinating student, do not think that you are all alone in the world with this problem. It also involves both children in kindergarten and adults because it deals not only with homework procrastination but having to wash the windows in the house or finally visiting the doctor. You might remember those Covid-19 reminders where they tell you not to procrastinate and make an appointment as soon as you feel bad. It works the same way everywhere. It is all about those negative consequences that start taking place when the problem is not addressed via one of the methods.
Procrastination is not only a mental issue because it also affects a person’s physical state. Procrastination affects academic success and the final grades of a person. Students that turn to this negative practice also become anxious, face slowness, become depressed, frustrated, guilty, and overly stressed. When procrastination becomes an issue and affects the final project or important exam preparation, self-esteem issues and depression become the most famous negative factors that are treated by psychologists, educators, and healthcare specialists. Luckily, it is possible to prevent these issues by turning to professional help and/or approaching one of the following methods.
Fighting Procrastination Tips
Here are the most common solutions to consider as you make the first steps to address the practice of putting things off:
- Break your objectives into several parts to decrease the sense of being overwhelmed.
- No one is perfect, so give yourself a mental release.
- Keep your personal deadlines a bit earlier than the actual date and time.
- Make sure to eliminate distractions.
- Finish those tasks that make you feel stressed first.
- Ask for additional help if something remains unclear.
- Focus on the tasks’ objectives.
- Keep yourself rewarded and motivated.
- Discuss what you would like to achieve.
- Face slackness with citrus tea.
- Listen to music as you study and work.
- Proofread your task aloud!
At the same time, you should focus on the essential tasks first because they will help you to get the burden off your shoulders. If you are lost in hesitation, you should look into the objectives that must be achieved. For example, do not start with a task that sounds too complex but proceed with an easier one because it will help you to see that something has already been done.
When Procrastination Seems Unbearable
If you belong among the most avid procrastinators, you should start with the elimination of distractions first and place yourself in a special environment where you just cannot run away. Start the task, open the Word processor, write the first sentence, and enter your campus to set the start. Once you work out the beginning, you will already have a good plan. It will work as a certain outline.
If these tips do not work, think about why you are procrastinating and what irritates you. If the task seems too boring or you do not want to start with it for some reason, write a short essay about why you dislike it just for the sake of it! Since there is not much written by college learners about student procrastination, you may set the new trend and help others challenge the problem!
Helpful Tools to Assist You
In addition to all the tips mentioned, you can turn to helpful books, podcasts, and apps that will assist you in your battle against procrastination. The most famous apps include Todoist, Trello, and Rescue Time. These will help you to manage your time and set various reminders to keep you alert. Another interesting solution is the AppBlock as it helps to block all the mobile apps that you may use to keep yourself away from your studies.
Speaking of podcasts that offer tips for procrastinators, think about the “Procrastination Pals” podcast or the “14 Minutes of Procrastinating” that will help you to see how to overcome things via various methods.
Getting books that should be checked include great writing by Steve Levinson and Pete Greider called “Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start”. Another great reading is by Kelly McGonigal called “The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It”.
These all represent influential content that will help keep you inspired!
Negative Effects of Procrastination
Now that you have already read about the reasons for procrastination and asked yourself something along the lines of why do I procrastinate so much, it’s high time to be the change you would like to see without planning to “start on Monday” or make a solid change over the weekend. The trick is that you have already started being the change. One procrastinating student once said that he is ready to take care of procrastination problems, just wait and see! You should not wait because it is exactly the problem. Just do it, as the famous Nike slogan goes!
They often say that people who are facing protraction are still being extremely productive at anything except the task they have to do. While it may sound like a joke, procrastination is like a credit card that may sound fun and advantageous until you finally get the bill. In truth, it is a thief of time and the grave where the opportunities are buried as the procrastinating student is the one who can make an immediate change and just act instead of seeking an easy way out. Nothing ever comes for granted and each step that we take should go through the doubts and questions to stand for the truth! It’s only natural to doubt and ask yourself whether what you do is right. Yet only the one who takes the first step paves the way!
Does Success Happen Overnight?
Living life as a procrastinating student is just like using foul language or smoking. If you want to stop, you do not give yourself promises but just stop the next minute and do not get back to a bad habit again. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that you do not have to see the whole staircase because taking the first step is sufficient. It is exactly how you must approach all the times of delay and those days of uncertainty. We may not see the whole picture, yet when you are in control, things change right away. Keep the faith and let the fires burn even when you are getting through the darkness of an unknown task or a situation where you have to find the only possible solution. If there is a single weapon that can destroy procrastination, it is the action and readiness to embrace the changes. Do not be a perfectionist because it is the journey that matters, not the destination!