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Procrastination and College Students

By jhoffman67910 Dec 04, 2013 1917 Words
Have you ever put something off? Thinking “Oh, i’ll just do it tomorrow?” Have you ever thought you were showing signs of a mental disorder by doing that? You’ve probably haven’t. Actions such as putting off your task until the next morning would be called procrastination. The definition of procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something for another time. Procrastination can be either putting off work for something else that the person believes is more important or just to do something more pleasurable. Procrastination is normally just considered a bad habit that unorganized or lazy people tend to undertake in their daily lives, but chronic procrastination may be the sign of an underlying psychological mental disorder. You can identify if you have procrastination with a number of symptoms and at a greater extent this disorder can even be treated. Many physiological studies have been done on procrastination and many people are trying to find the underlying cause for this disorder. It is a mental disorder that is not quite understood or accepted by many psychologists.

According to Timothy A. Pychyl Ph.D., “Immediate mood repair” is controlled by the brain’s limbic system. This system controls automatic responses and is a dominant part of the brain. It can overpower the prefrontal cortex which is a decision-making part of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is what makes an individual decide to engage in a task. The longer the task is put off, the easier it is for the limbic system to dominate and give instant pleasure feelings which the body and mind prefer. It becomes more satisfying to not do the task because of this limbic system. Because of this, people learn that procrastination feels better in the short term and this can begin to control how or when they choose to perform tasks. Procrastination has been thought to originate from our viral age with all our laptops, and smart phones, and facebook, but that’s not true. Procrastination has been around since ancient Greek and Roman times. The Greek poet Hesiod around the year 800 B.C., promoted people to avoid procrastination and “to not put off your work till tomorrow and the day after.” And for the Roman civilization, the consul Cicero called the act of delaying actions “hateful.” Procrastination is just a part of human nature; we as humans are lazy, we try to find the easy way to do anything, and if we can’t do that, then we think that we’ll just do it tomorrow. But what is work? The definition of work is “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.” Therefore procrastination is tied together mentally and physically. The mental aspect of procrastination leads mostly to school. Procrastination is considered a student's worst enemy. Every student encounters the feeling of procrastination once or multiple times either as a bad habit or as a mental disorder. Students go through procrastination without even thinking about it, by putting off the less pleasurable for the more pleasurable. We all encounter the bad feeling of procrastination and wish to stop. We could think of procrastination as a dangerous disease feeding off our productivity. Procrastination begins rapidly as time becomes your worst “enemy.” Looking at a blank piece of paper for English, a blank document for an essay, or even your other homework leads to laziness. We could think its just a lazy bad habit, but actually we’re procrastinating. What happens next after staring down your blank piece of paper desperately wishing it was done? You “need” food, a drink, naptime, or even a “break” from stress so then you make a cup of coffee or something to eat. Before we know it, we watch television for a couple of hours. Then what? The homework didn’t get finished by itself! It’s still there collecting dust “watching” you procrastinate from this mental disorder or bad habit. Furthermore, procrastination leads into older adolescence which stems off of childhood. People don’t realize how procrastination can affect their lives and frustrate their future self into adulthood. Generally, procrastination through older adolescence is the time of actually knowing if this is a chronic psychological disorder or just a lazy bad habit. Academic procrastination in college students is widespread. Procrastination negatively affects college students which impacts their learning along with overall achievements. When pushing off a task because they may be “busy” or have a more pleasurable task to do affects their organization of work. Work among college students is not only academic work but also physical job work which is affected too. In addition, the Natural Remedies For Total Health “Procrastination Explained” by Michael Locklear shows that 95% of college students are trapped by procrastination. The more pleasurable tasks outweigh the challenging tasks that the college students have to do. By doing the more pleasurable task instead of the original task, a delay in preparations for exams or other assessments occurs which is known as “cramming.” The term cramming is “bestfriends” with procrastination amongst college students who encounter it. Cramming is when college students wait until the last minute, pulling an “all-nighter” in order to complete the task they had to do that they’ve already known about and had more than enough time to finish. A study reveals that 75% of college students admit themselves to be procrastinators with half of them stating that they procrastinate on a regular everyday basis. The question amongst college students is that is this just a bad habit?, or is this a chronic psychological mental disorder? Well the answer is that it is a mental disorder that is not quite understood or accepted by many psychologists. For the further future self in adulthood may seem as a bad habit but actually as bad “habits” continuously happen out of laziness leads to chronic procrastination. This creates stress, depression, and anxiety throughout life which affects ambition to complete tasks due from this disorder. The future self encounters procrastination as a psychological disorder which is associated with perfectionism. The definition of perfectionism is “refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.” This is tied with procrastination negatively due from postponing tasks because the future self feels pressured to meet their high standards so they put off their task for a more pleasurable task. Procrastination in adulthood is a roadblock to complete fulfillment in all kinds of aspects. One may push aside a building job while others may push aside taxes along with other tasks. Then when the deadline is met, it creates a rush in perfectionism. Studies have shown that procrastinators during their tax returns pay an average over $400 due to errors caused by waiting until the last minute confirmed by H&R Block. This concluded with overpayments in the United States government in 2002 by $437 million. This disorder impacts adulthood of individuals which causes a great deal of pressure. As a disorder, overwhelming evidence shows that individuals who wait until the last minute is averagely below 70% of effectiveness towards finalizing their task. Procrastination not only impacts the future self, it also impacts the individuals that are involved. The future self in adulthood as job workers, Christmas shoppers, last-minute tax rushers, individuals who avoid seeking proper medical exams and treatments, teachers, or even scientists encounter procrastination as a bad habit or as a psychological disorder. Procrastination is a serious issue when one encounters it as a bad habit which can be a continuous action leading into the disorder. In many cases, it becomes a threat to the qualities of life towards the future self eating away the time it takes to complete the task. http://sidsavara.com/personal-productivity/procrastination/procrastination-survey-results

According to this survey, the results of why individuals procrastinate is about putting things off for a more pleasurable task. The question that many psychologists have is, why do people procrastinate? Is it a bad habit? Is it a disorder? Through the lives of individuals who procrastinate encounter the reasons of no time, it’s just not urgent, don’t feel like it, or not sure what to do. So what then leads for the final answer for procrastination? The number one reason why individuals procrastinate is that they don’t feel like doing the tasks they need to do so they push it off for other favorable tasks. The results of the two graphs indicates for encountering procrastination is about self management. The lack of productivity is often tied with time management along with prioritization. Individuals know that the priority of their task is more important but they would rather do the more favorable task. Individuals know that the task needs to be completed but they don’t feel like doing it. This results with the bad habits or the chronic disorder of procrastination. Mental, emotional, and physical focus is important in order to overcome procrastination. The top four reasons are no time, it’s just not urgent, don’t feel like it, and not sure what to do. When needing to complete a task, time management is very important. Individuals push aside their task due to “not having time”, which then leads into no ambition to do the task because it’s not urgent. Therefore that’s when the more favorable task is encountered. This creates pressure and stress which is overwhelming because now the question is “What to do?” in addition of not knowing what to do results in pushing away the task. Then the fulfillment of what the individuals wanted to complete doesn’t happen. As procrastination continuously happens, it results with the question of is it considered a chronic disorder or just a bad habit?

Conclusion:
Procrastination is a mind game that individuals may encounter of delaying or postponing something for another time. The solution is to outsmart procrastination which is harder to do in order to overcome the bad habit or mental disorder. It’s natural to get overwhelmed by a simple task but the key is to attack the task without pushing it off before procrastination becomes the enemy. Break each part of the task down as if it were to be “cutting a tree.” Instead of looking at the task as a whole like a “tree,” cut down the “branches” first of each part of the task which will fade away the whole part. By taking away the idea of what you can’t do and replacing it with what you can do, it defeats procrastination. Make your view of the task as the quality rather than quantity so being overwhelmed by a task doesn’t occur. Try to use time as your “bestfriend” instead of an enemy. By doing so, procrastination will fade away by blocking out the more favorable tasks to do after the task is completed. Procrastination is the worst enemy one may encounter and there are many questions that are accumulated with it for further research. Why does procrastination get to me so easily? What makes me a procrastinator? Do I just have a bad lazy habit by pushing off my task or do I have this psychological disorder? This mental disorder is not quite understood or accepted by many psychologists. An individual may encounter procrastination as a bad habit while others encounter it as a mental disorder which will eat away the task before it’s fulfilled. "Procrastination is 'the art of keeping up with yesterday and avoiding today.’ " - Wayne Dyer

“Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.”
- Victor Kiam

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