1 Academic Writing: Procrastination
This Essay is concerned with the motives and consequences of procrastination. It will analyze why one procrastinates and show some specific ways to deal with procrastination.
Procrastination is an activity almost every high school student has done throughout their high school career. The meaning of procrastination is putting something off intentionally and delaying to work on a task to another day. Whether it is learning for an exam or writing a term paper due in a few weeks, almost every student will procrastinate at least once, no matter if they are role model students or well organized. Procrastination can have a huge impact on the grades of a student, but there is a lot to learn about why students do it and there are techniques to learn to cope with procrastination.
1.2 Reasons to Procrastinate
First of all we need to have a look at some reasons why one procrastinates.
Unquestionably, procrastination is rewarding. It rewards us temporarily with a relief of stress. If you feel that endless work deprives you of the pleasure of leisure time, it is more likely to avoid work. If the work one thought he or she had to do, later turns out to be unnecessary the procrastination is double rewarding (Fiore 2007).
If your life is controlled by deadlines and due dates, you can feel like a victim to others who make the rules. You need to follow the rules or have to live with the consequences, e.g. postponing a term paper and doing it all over again or at the last minute. By procrastinating, one can temporarily, secretly dethrone the authority and feel stronger and not like a victim anymore (Fiore 2007).
Another cause of procrastination is the fear of failure. Perfectionism and self-criticism are the main reasons for fear of failure. If a perfectionist’s work is judged as ‘average’ it will feel like a failure to him due to his high expectations beforehand. The perfectionist defines himself through the evaluation of his work. Needless to say, this invokes a lot of stress. Procrastination, temporarily, takes away the pressure and the fear of failure (Fiore 2007).
Equally important to procrastination is the fear of success. It is possible to fear the downsides of success without even being aware of it. The majority of the people who fear success want to do well, but because of unconscious and subtle worries, their desire fails to turn into reality.
Take the case of college students whose parents have not gone to college. The students are aware of the sacrifices their parents have made to give them greater opportunities. They aim to make their families proud and to be in a position to support the family. Simultaneously, they are entering an intellectual and social culture, their parents have never experienced. The more they succeed, the more the differences increase and therefore, drifting the family apart. In this case procrastination is seen as an expression of anxiety and guilt about slowly edging away from a loving family (Burka and Yuen 2008).
1.3 Ways of Procrastination
It is by far more important to be aware of the various ways one procrastinates than the reasons of it.
By monitoring oneself and acknowledging an awareness of negative patterns, it is possible to redirect ones energy towards forming positive habits and neglect these negative patterns. To improve one’s performance it is essential to identify how tasks are conducted most efficient (Fiore 2007). By doing so it is possible to become aware of patterns, which can be used to ones advantage.
Observing oneself during a normal period of procrastination, to create a procrastination log can be very helpful to examine periods of most or least productivity. At first it is important to become aware of one’s current behavior patterns, without judging or analyzing them. Divide the day into three segments, for example: morning, afternoon and evening to better assess at what time one is most or least productive. Register the time spent on every activity throughout the day (Fiore 2007).
At the last step the procrastination log needs to be analyzed. At what period of time was the most productive and at what period of time was the least productive span of time.
In conclusion, the awareness of one’s inner dialogue and how it connects to one’s procrastination patterns will allow establishing the possibility to get the most out one’s most productive time span (Fiore 2007).
One of the biggest reasons why assignments get a bad mark or are incomplete is because of procrastination. Procrastination has a bad effect on work, and on you. When you procrastinate you don’t learn how to discipline yourself, the quality of work suffers, and you get stressed out.
The first reason why procrastination is bad is because the quality of work suffers. Sometimes an assignment needs to be proof read first. If you procrastinate you will be more inclined to skip this important step. Another big problem is that you run out of ideas. At one sitting ideas don’t come as freely as they do over several days. People who leave assignments to the last minute are more likely to resort to cheating. When an assignment is left to the last minute, you worry more and cheating and cutting curners happens a lot more. Procrastination also affects the quality of work because your assignments looks hurried and just thrown together.
Another danger that comes with procrastination is an increase in stress. When an assignment is left to the last minute, it lingers in the back of your mind the whole time. Once the day arrives that you must do it, any other plans must be put on hold. You end up being frustrated and upset with yourself, and the teacher. If several assignments are due at the same time the stress increases even more. Not only do you have to rush to get everything done, you have to worry about whether you’ll get it finished in time. Stress also increases when you procrastinate because you start to doubt yourself. When you make up your mind that you won’t leave the next assignment until the last minute, and you end up doing it, you get frustrated and upset with yourself.
The last and most important reason is because you learn poor work habits. As you further your education you will no longer be able to leave things to the last minute. As assignments get bigger they require more planning and thought; if you haven’t learned the skills to plan before, these assignments won’t get done properly. When you make excuses to put off assignments, you learn to make excuses for other things as well. You’ll start making excuses to cheat on your diet, or quit exercising. This is a bad pattern to get into, you start to realize that you won’t get it done early so why bother trying. Once you start to doubt yourself you self-confidence drops and all kinds of other problems start to happen.
When you procrastinate a lot of bad things can happen. You don’t learn to discipline yourself, your work suffers, and you get stressed out.
Prcrastination is dangerous, you fool yourself by thinking up reasons to wait one more week or one more day. The worst thing is, is that procrastination is so easy to stop. You just have to quit being lazy, make up your mind to get it done, and just do it!
Filed Under: Social Issues