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).