What is procrastination? In simple terms, procrastination is delaying or postponing a task or some work until the last moment because of laziness. In a student’s life, it has a huge impact. It affects grades, delays long-term projects, it affects mental health and many more.
It makes the student lazier, delaying the necessary work that they need to do in the proper time which as a result adds burden to them in the long run. Because of delaying important tasks and not having proper time management, students often face difficulties with deadlines, making them unable to finish their assignments, projects and other work in proper time. This, as a result, adds more burden and stress to students affecting their mental wellbeing.
Why do students often procrastinate?
Students often procrastinate because students are kids who prefer having a fun time instead of doing academic or other important work like project work, studying or writing reports. They as kids always want to have fun through physical sports or digital video games in today’s age.
They are not mature enough to know about proper time management and stress that may arise in the end moment. The other reasons why they usually procrastinate are not having an idea about what to do and how to do it, setting higher or impossible goals, being careless about whether that work gets done or not, fear of failure, having the feeling that they can complete the work in the last minute, lacking motivation and initiative to take the first step, forgetting about the work, blaming other factors like poor health, lack of opportunity and so on.
Procrastination’s negative effects on student’s life
The first aspect which is affected by procrastination is the academic performance. Students’ lack of interest in studying and completing their work in proper time directly affects their grades. The students believe that they can complete the assignments and other tasks in the end moment by using today’s technology, which makes them procrastinate and as a result, their assignments are not completed on the deadlines which brings pressure affecting their mental health.
Nowadays every student except some exceptions hates studying. Studying and tests are the last thing they want to do. Because of this, they tend to postpone the preparation for the exams resulting in failing or bad grades.
Procrastination’s positive effects on student’s life
Although procrastination has many threats, it also has some opportunities. Franzhi Zhu, in his article about the “Positive and Negative Side of Procrastination in College Students”, has discussed how active procrastination makes us more focused and productive.
When a person ignores the small and unnecessary tensions and another unimportant task, then he/she can focus well on the current, important task or any activity. According to a study done by eight Chinese universities active procrastination also makes the person more creative and self-efficacy.
Also, the study done by Surabaya State University, about the relationship between active procrastination and academic diligence, found that students had a challenge-oriented mindset and they viewed the challenges as opportunities for their self-development rather than threats. However, procrastination should not be used negatively but should be used to effectively manage a schedule.
Breaking the procrastination cycle
Procrastination is a habit, just like any other bad habit like drinking, or smoking, so it can be broken or prevented by following some procedures. As every success is gained through small steps, consistency and patience, to tackle the habit of procrastination one should start from small steps, not trying to tackle the entire task at once, but instead breaking it down into smaller and more manageable steps.
The next step is setting deadlines by yourself. The deadlines made should be realistic and achievable. If the deadline is not met then make yourself accountable for that. The third step is finding the flow, which means finding where you are most productive and active. The last step is rewarding yourself.
According to psychology, positive reinforcement helps us the most while converting our behaviour. So, when we celebrate our accomplishments it makes us satisfied and motivates us to do the same in the future. Lastly, if you are struggling with procrastination and cannot help yourself, then it is suggested to seek help from a therapist or counsellor.
Sometimes, the best and most effective way to beat procrastination is to simply start. Just a few minutes of working can set the initial motion to reach the goal. And remember, procrastination is normal human behaviour and everyone faces it, it is just that successful people handle this effectively and use it positively. Simply understanding it and implementing the small steps can help anyone overcome procrastination.