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SOFT SKILL REPORT ON PROCRASTINATION Submitted to the University of Madras In partial fulfillment of the requirements For the award


MOHAMED SATHAK COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCE (Affiliated to the University of Madras approved by AICTE, New Delhi) CHENNAI-600119 JUNE-NOV 2010


I declare that this soft skill report on the topic PROCRASTINATION is submitted on partial fulfillment of the award of Master of Social Work degree course of the University of Madras Chennai is the result of the original work done by me and to the best of my knowledge.



This is to certify that the soft skill work in PROCRASTINATION is carried by Mr. B. HEAMMANTH RAAJ (K920063), in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK of University of Madras during the year June-Nov 2010 under the guidance and supervision of me the work done by him, is his original and has not been submitted elsewhere.

Signature of the guide MR. G. MANICKAM

Submitted for the Soft Skills Practical Examination held in ------------------ at Mohd.Sathak College of Arts and Science, Chennai-119.

Internal Examiner

Date :

External Examiner

DECLARATION BY THE DEPARTMENT HOD MOHAMED SATHAK COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCE (Affiliated to the University of Madras) Sholinganallur, Chennai-600119

This is to certify that Mr. B.HEAMMANTH RAAJ is a bonafide student of M.S.W and has completed his MSW soft skill project on PROCRASTINATION, in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the award of the Master of Social Work of the University of Madras from June-Nov 2010.

Signature of the H.O.D


MOHAMED SATHAK COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCE (Affiliated to the University of Madras) Sholinganallur, Chennai-600119

This is to certify that Mr. B. HEAMMANTH RAAJ is a bonafide student of MSW has completed his MSW soft skill project in PROCRASTINATION, in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the award of the Master of Social Work of the University of Madras from June-Nov 2010.

Signature of the Principal Dr. K.E.N. NALLA MOHAMED M.sc, M.Phil, Ph.D.


I would like to thank all those who gave me their time, care and guidance to whom I owe a debt, which can never be repaid. The following dignitaries deserve a special mention. I express my hearty thanks to our respected Dean Dr. MAJOR M. JAILANI for his continuous encouragement, help and also providing all the resources needed behind the scenes. I express my profound thanks to our respected principal Dr. K.E.N NALLA MOHAMED for his enthusiastic support, help and also providing all the resources needed behind the scenes. I wish to thank H.O.D, MRS. S. DEVI, MA, MBA, M.Phil. P.G.Department of Social Work, Mohamed Sathak College of Arts and Science, Chennai. I would like to thank my Guide and soft skill trainer Mr. G. MANICKAM, M.B.A, M.Phil, NET, M.A. (Economics),M.Sc(Psychology) Lecturer, P.G.Department of Business Administration, Mohamed Sathak College of Arts and Science, for his full involvement in every part of my Project.


Procrastination is part of being human. We are all plagued by procrastination at one time or another. However, for some it is a major problem. This area will attempt to deal with the type of "excessive postponing" that impacts one's academic performance. Procrastination usually has the same net results in all areas of one's life ²
y wasted time, y missed opportunities, y poor performance and/or y increased stress. DEFINITIONS:1. Procrastination refers to the counterproductive deferment of actions or

tasks to a later time.
2. Procrastination is putting off or avoiding doing something that must be

3. dilatoriness: slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it 4. procrastinate - postpone doing what one should be doing; "He did not

want to write the letter and procrastinated for days"
5. procrastinate - postpone or delay needlessly; "He procrastinated the

matter until it was almost too late"
6. Procrastination is the avoidment of a task or action which requires

completion; by focusing on another task. And while almos t everyone procrastinates once in a while; there are a few people which experience chronic procrastination. Chronic procrastination can be a sign that there is an underlying psychological or physiological disorder or mental health problem(Andrew Knepfle)


The causes of procrastination vary and can be psychological as well as physiological.
Psychological causes: -

One such cause for procrastination is because they wish to avoid some task that brings up undesired emotions. These unwanted emotions may be that of helplessness; powerlessness; or that of being overwhelmed or swamped with work. Another, somewhat similar cause for procrastination is anxiety or stress over the task or from another task or action that one has a time constraint on. There is also the most obvious cause of procrastination, (here it comes), laziness (Wikipedia 1). Then there are the not so obvious causes. These include: a low sense of self worth; a self-defeating mentality; or perfectionism. With the latter of the three, perfectionism, creates high expectations and standards that seem to difficult to meet. The pressure to meet those expectations may cause low self esteem because they are hyper-critical of themselves. Perfectionism may also make the person not care how his or her eff orts turn out; which also may lead to low self-esteem.
Physiological causes: -

There are also physiological causes of procrastination. The physiogical root of procrastination is the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for executive brain functions such as planning; attention; and impulse control. The prefrontal cortex also acts as a filter by decreasing distracting stimuli from other brain regions. Damage or low activation in this area can reduce an individual¶s ability to winter out distractions; which can lead to decreased attention, and

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The inabilit to sol e the problems reveals a basic academic weakness Past failures have reinforced a negative self-image with selfcondemnation, anxiet and embarrassment as end results.


In another instance, procrastination is a bad habit. There are two general causes of bad habits. One is justifying behavior caused by perfectionism, inadequacy, and fear of discomfort. The perfectionist endlessly rewrites draft after draft,

worriedly seeking that perfect essay, missing the deadline. The student with feelings of inadequacy ³knows" that they are incompetent and therefore avoid the unpleasantness of having their skills put to the test. ear of discomfort or failure often paralyzes many individuals and keeps them from doing what should be done. The second cause of bad habits is behavior that becomes cyclical. Not starting on an unpleasant task makes it harder to get things going. Anxiety, fear and feelings of inadequacy keep building within and eventually avoiding tasks reinforces procrastination.
Types of procrastinators The relaxed type

The relaxed type of procrastinators views their responsibilities negatively and avoids them by directing energy into other tasks. t is common, for example, for relaxed type procrastinating children to abandon schoolwork but not their social lives. tudents often see projects as a whole rather than breaking them into smaller parts. This type of procrastination is a form of denial or cover -up; therefore, typically no help is being sought.

urthermore, they are also unable to defer gratification. The procrastinator avoids situations that would cause displeasure, indulging instead in more enjoyable activities. n reudian terms, such procrastinators refuse to renounce the

pleasure principle, instead sacrificing the reality principle. They may not appear to be worried about work and deadlines, but this is simply an evasion.
The tense-afraid type

The tense-afraid type of procrastinator usually feels overwhelmed with pressure, unrealistic about time, uncertain about goals and many other negative feelings. eeling that they lack the ability or focus to successfully complete their work,

they tell themselves that they need to unwind and relax, that it s better to take it easy for the afternoon, for example, and start afresh in the morning. Usually have grandiose plans rather than being realistic. Their 'relaxing' is often temporary and ineffective, and leads to even more stress as time runs out, deadlines approach and the person feels increasingly guilty and apprehensive. This behavior becomes a cycle of failure and delay, as plans and goals are put off, penciled into the following day or week in the diary again and again. It can also have a debilitating effect on their personal lives and relationships. Since they are uncertain about their goals, they often feel awkward with people who appear confident and goal- oriented, which can lead to depression. Tense-afraid procrastinators often withdraw from social life, avoiding contact even with close friends. According to Sapadin & Maguire there are 6 types of procrastinators. 1. Perfectionists 2. Dreamers 3. Worries 4. Defiers 5. Crisis-Makers 6. Over-Dozers



In one instance, procrastination is a delaying device that offers protection from fear or anxiety. Looking at this more closely, a student puts off working on math homework because
y y

Math homework causes anxiety because the questions are so hard to solve The inability to solve the problems reveals a basic academic weakness


Past failures have reinforced a negative self -image with selfcondemnation, anxiety and embarrassment as end res ults.

n another instance, procrastination is a bad habit. There are two general causes of bad habits. One is justifying behavior caused by perfectionism, inadequacy, and fear of discomfort. The perfectionist endlessly rewrites draft after draft, worriedly seeking that perfect essay, missing the deadline. The student with feelings of inadequacy ³knows" that they are incompetent and therefore avoid the unpleasantness of having their skills put to the test. ear of discomfort or failure often paralyzes many individuals and keeps them from doing what should be done. The second cause of bad habits is behavior that becomes cyclical. Not starting on an unpleasant task makes it harder to get things going. Anxiety, fear and feelings of inadequacy keep building wi thin and eventually avoiding tasks reinforces procrastination.



STAGE 1. " 'll start early this time."

[But now isn't the right time.]

STAGE 2. " 've got to start soon."

[There is still plenty of time.]

STAGE 3. "What if don't start the project in time?"

[ eelings of doom over the consequences.]

STAGE 4. " should have started sooner."

[Guilt feeling begin.]


STAGE 5. " am studying for the quiz, have completed my homework,

but the project«" [At least, 'm getting something done.]

STAGE 6. " can never enjoy going out with friends."

[The procrastinator tries to enjoy other activities but pending tasks keep him from relaxing and enjoying himself.]

STAGE 7. "Hey, there is still time."

[The moment of truth is closing in; the procrastinator tries to remain optimistic.]

STAGE 8. "There must be something wrong with me."

[ elf-deprecating comments affix blame and intensify the cycle.]

STAGE 9. "Why bother ² there is no way

can finish it." OR " can't

put it off any longer." [The choice is finally made. t is either blown off as not worth the effort or it is finally completed with the realization that it wasn't all that bad, "but should have started earlier."]

STAGE 10. " will never do this to myself again."

[ f the price is high enough, the procrastinator might start making the changes required. f not, the cycle begins again.]



t can but read the statement underlined again. t will require energy and commitment. What will help? ee the tips below.

The first step is to admit there is a problem. f you don't know you are a procrastinator, how can you possibly be expec ted to change behavior patterns? The second step is to begin monitoring your behavior. How frequently do you make excuses for not starting a task? Write down all of your excuses on one half of the page, using two columns.

y y

On the right side of the page, challenge your faulty reasoning (justifications and rationalizations) and write down your realistic thoughts on the opposite side of each excuse.


Here is an example:

EXCUSE: " don't feel like doing it."



wait for the right mood,


never do it."

Do not belittle yourself or your efforts. That only serves to perpetuate the cycle of procrastination. abeling yourself as dumb or lazy does not help. Your tasks are separate from which you are as a person. ncorporate self -motivating statements into your thoughts, such as« "There is no time like the present." "The sooner program."

y y

get this task done, the sooner can enjoy my favorite TV

"Perfectionism is nothing more than an illusion that keeps me from doing what have to do right now."


What do you want to accomplish? What needs to be done to accomplish it? Be specific. f there is a deadline, figure out a time table with realistic goals at each step. On big projects, plan backwards. tart with small portions of the total project and accomplish it step by step.

PRIORITIZING TAS S Write down daily tasks that need to be done i the order of their im ortance. The greater the importance or urgency, the higher its priority. Start at the top of the list each day and work your way down. If the last item is not completed today, put it at the top of the list for tomorrow--if it is still that important or urgent. GETTING ORGANIZED

Acquire a calendar, "to do" lists, or an organizer. Use them.

Record all due dates, deadlines, and the like. Prioritize tasks on "to do" lists or cards.

Check off those that you accomplish.

Select the best time of the day for the type of work required.

Do harder more demanding tasks when you tend to be more alert.

Use "stickups" as reminders of tasks and deadlines and place them in conspicuous places like the refrigerator, bathroom mirror or car dash.

The more we remember, especially in starting new habits, the more likely we are to follow through with our plans.

The more we practice our new actions, the more likely they will become good habits. COMMITTING TO THE TAS Write a contract stating the task and deadlines that you are vowing to meet. Sign it. Better still; tell a parent, friend or supervisor about your plans. It is amazing how accountable one becomes when vocalizing the terms of the contract. REWARDING YOURSELF

A "do it now" attitude deserves a pat on the back. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Move on to bigger and greater things. Perfectioni m Traditionally, procrastination has been associated with perfectionism, a tendency to

negatively evaluate outcomes and one's own performance, intense fear and avoidance of evaluation of one's abilities by others, heightened social selfconsciousness and anxiety, recurrent low mood, and workaholics. Slaney (1996) found that adaptive perfectionists were less likely to procrastinate than non-

perfectionists, while maladaptive perfectionists (people who saw their perfectionism as a problem) had high levels of procrastination (a nd also of anxiety).
Acade ic procrastination

While acade ic procrastination is not a special type of procrastination, procrastination is thought to be particularly prevalent in the academic setting[citation needed ], where students are assignments and tests in an required to meet deadlines for full of events and


activities which compete for the students' time and attention. More specificall y, a 1992 study showed that "52% of surveyed students indicated having a moderate to high need for help concerning procrastination". ome students struggle with procrastination due to a lack of time management or study skills, stress, or feeling overwhelmed with their work.[citation needed ] tudents can also struggle with procrastination for medical reasons such as ADD/ADHD or a learning disorder.
Student Syndro e

tudent syndrome refers to the phenomenon that many students will begin to fully apply themselves to a task just before a deadline. This leads to wasting any buffers built into individual task duration estimates. The term originated in Eliyahu M. Goldratt's novel style book, Critical Chain, and the principle is also

addressed in the book entitled Agile Management for oftware Engineering : or example, if a group of students goes to a prof essor and asks for an extension to a deadline they will usually defend their request by noting how much better their project will be if they are given more time to work on it; they request thi s with the intent to distribute their work time across the remainder of the time until the deadline. n reality however, most students will have other tasks or events that place demands on their time. They will often end up close to the same situation they started with, wishing they had more time as the new delayed deadline approaches. This same behaviour is seen in businesses; in project and task estimating, time- or resource -buffer is applied to the task to allow for overrun or other scheduling problems. However with tudent

syndrome the latest possible start of tasks causes the buffer for any given task to be wasted beforehand, rather than kept in reserve. ike students, many workers do not complete assignments early, but wait until t he last minute before starting, often having to rush to submit their assignment minutes before the deadline. A similar phenomenon is seen every year in the United tates when personal tax returns are due - Post Offices remain open until midnight on the final day as people queue to get their tax return postmarked.

Some people who put things off have what seems like an internal, almost kneejerk resistance to doing jobs they believe they h ve t d
h uld d . If you

procrastinate more than you like, you may be unconsciously struggling with this internal resistance. Fortunately, there are ways to use that resistance to your advantage in your battle to reduce procrastination. One way involves putting off something that you feel you h uld d or h ve t
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d and do something less pressing instead. You may set this up so that what

you actually do is what you need to do in the first place. For example, to help you do this innovative exercise in B ATI PROCRASTI ATION, tell yourself your job is to procrastinate. Your job is to put this enjoyable exercise off. You do not have a choice; you h ve t put off doing this enlightening exercise.

As you tell yourself you HAVE TO PROCRASTINATE on doing this exercise, you may feel your built-in resistance start to rise against to things you have to


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Because it is required in this exercise that you HAVE TO

PROCRA T NATE, and because you seem to naturally resist what you have to do, it would not be surprising that you begin to feel a desire to do this exercise. While this may sound strange, these are normal feelings and react ions for many people who have been in the habit of putting things off more than they prefer.

At this point, it would not be unexpected for some people to feel curious as to what the rest of this handout is about and want to go on. f you feel like that, you might choose to read on. You may stop any time you wish. You might even be curious about what are the possible alternatives to procrastination and want to read the first one. f you don't want to read any further, that 's OK. You may prefer not to do anything about procrastination, now.


ome people who procrastinate become curious about what is it they put ome of these people have kept a log for only 1

off when they procrastinate.

week where they jot down whatever it is they put off.

Maybe after a few days of logging "procrastinatables," you may begin to see certain patterns about what kinds of tasks you put off. You may see avoidance of certain kinds of work or situations that are potentially conflict arousing. Maybe you will see that "putting off" has to do with certain kinds of people, teaching styles, environments, Possibly, you may notice a "first impulse"

moods, feelings, tasks, etc.

resistance to required work as you log things. t could be that doing this first step might give you insight into whatever it is you keep putting off. ome people begin to see possible solutions to

procrastination at this point and some do not, yet. Either way is ok.


f you choose to do a log, you may want to look for common "delaying

tactics". Many procrastinators discover an "inner voice" telling them what to do just before something is put off. This inner voice is normal and exists in all of

It is normal for people to do what they tell themselves to do. Maybe when you put things off you do a normal thing and do only what your inner voice is telling you to do.

us. You may feel like jotting down some of the things this inner voice says just before you put things off. This inner voice is called "self -talk." ome people become curious about this "inner voice" and want to know more about what it says. This inner voice is normal and is called self -talk. You may choose to listen more consciously for any negative or delaying self-talk when faced with commonly put-off tasks. You might discover what your self-talk is saying to you when facing commonly procrastinated tasks. You may even realize that, like many other people who put things off more than the y want to, that you are likely to do what you tell yourself to do when facing unpleasant tasks or even unpleasant tasks. t might be interesting to see what happens if

you change your self-talk and repeatedly tell yourself not to put something off. ome ex-procrastinators have found that describing exactly what they intend to do and for how long, just before doing it, makes procrastinating more difficult.


You may believe it is "good news" when you realize that negative or or

delaying self-talk can be consciously changed to positive self -talk.

example, if your self-talk when facing a disliked task is, "I don't want to do t is," you are likely to do what is normal and do what you tell yourself to do . "I don't want to do t is" is only a small logical step away from, "so, to hell with it!" Perhaps you might like to experiment and see what happens to you if you attempted the kind of positive self-talk which says the opposite of your habitual negative or delaying se lf-talk. ome ex-procrastinators jot down positive self-talk phrases on notecards that they carry with them. f you feel this may be a good idea, you might use
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notecards for reminders of what to say to yourself when facing commonly put off tasks.

Some examples of positive self-talk that you could put on a notecard are:

I will do it now.

I may not want to do it, but I will for ½ hour.

I'd rather swim, but it won't help me graduate so I
I¶m a good student & good students do this, so I will do it now.

I ll feel better when it s done, so I ll do it at 2pm.

I'll do this for 1 hour and then go out.

I may hate this but I will finish it done before I watch tv.

I haven't liked this in the past, but maybe I can learn to like it..

I haven't done well on this in the past, but I will learn to do it well.

You may come to agree that more positive self -talk involves saying the opposite of what you used to tell yourself just before you procrastinated. 4. Just as most people can't eat a whole birthday cake in one bite,

some jobs cannot be done all at once. Some people come to realize that it is harder to put something off if they slice a job up into manageable pieces and do the task piece by piece, little by little. This might mean breaking down the time required to -do a task into smaller chunks that are spaced over several days or weeks. Some people don't like large doses of something distasteful. They find that smaller doses spaced over time makes things easier to do and less procrastinatable.


Another way some people have reduced procrastination is to begin with

an easy, an enjoyable, or the least distasteful piece of a job to get started.


Many ex-procrastinators have realized that working with someone else

makes it less likely that they will put something off. Perhaps this would work for you. 7. t could be that you will come to realize that making a commitment to

someone or setting a deadline for completing a task is one way to make procrastination more difficult. t is known that for many people, setting a goal results in motivation. or this to work, ex-procrastinators have found that the

goal must be something they want to achieve. 8. Maybe you will discover that doing a job in the least distracting or many college students,

environment makes putting off work a little harder.

homes, dorm rooms, or apartments have many distractions and potential distractions. Perhaps you will find a place like the library to study where it is quiet and is going to stay quiet until you are ready to leave. 9. ike many non-procrastinators, you may find it enjoyable to reward

yourself for doing a part of a job and for completing a task. Some examples of

rewards are treating yourself to some ice cream, going to a movie, visiting with friends, or just doing something that you enjoy.


You may find it easier not to put things off when you match the outcomes

of what you do with your goals. n other words, ³How will not procrastinating on a task move me toward my goals?.´ Possibly, you would come to realize that it is much easier to do something if you see that it is getting YOU where YOU want to go. You may even begin to believe that "your life is YOUR life" and that you have the freedom to pursue YOUR OWN GOA S, if you choose to do so. 11. Some counselors and researchers have discovered that procrastination is

one characteristic of adult children from dysfunctional fam ily¶s i.e., families with alcohol abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect or abuse, drug abuse, etc. Many people from dysfunctional families find this difficult to believe, accept, or even acknowledge, at first. f you think a background similar to dysf unctional families may be one reason why you put things off, you might choose to tell a

college counselor about it.

t could be that you would find a way to use their

training and experience to help you reduce the number of times you put things off.
12. A normal reason for procrastinating is because a person is trying to do

something they really and sincerely do not want to do just now. After acknowledging that something may be difficult or distasteful, it is not uncommon for people to get the help of a frien d or counselor. Many former procrastinators have found that doing something they deeply and truly don't want to do just now is a primary reason why they put things off. You may discover, as other have, that this is a normal response to distasteful tasks. By making a change to do something they reall want to do, many people like you have reduced or eliminated procrastination in their lives.
13. Sometimes people are unaware of a degree of self -criticism or self-anger

which is a common cause of procrastination. Through no fault of their own, procrastinators in this escapable trap lapse into a cycle of thinking, feeling, and behavior that promotes procrastination. You may choose to examine the cycle below to see if any part of it fits you. f any part fits you, you may choose to enlist the help of a professional counselor to eliminate this possible cause of your procrastination.


When some people procrastinate, they become critical of themselves and that cause them to become angry at themse lves. This leads to low self-esteem and discouragement. The self-talk language may go something like this. Part 1 ³ ¶ll do that later.´ Part 2 ³Now it¶s too late and screwed up again!´ ³Why do do this? t makes me so angry when get into this situation.´ Part 3 ³ just don¶t have what it takes to succeed, guess.´ Part 4 ³Maybe ¶ll quit.´

The sinister part of this cycle is that you may inadvertently enter at any point and continue circling until you realize what is happening. To exit this cycle, many ex-procrastinators have chosen to practice one or more of the possible solutions listed above.

By using some of these solutions to procrastination, you may realize that you are not stuck with your present degree of procrastination, if you don't want to be. You may also begin to realize as others have, that you are not powerless to modify and eventually control this behavior. You may even find that reading over this handout several times could possibly give you more ideas to t ry in order to reduce your procrastination behaviors. You may come to believe, as many ex-procrastinators have, that you may choose to control and even eliminate procrastination by making habits out of one or more of the suggestions listed above, when you are ready.

Thus Procrastination is found to be a tough task to cope which should be treated and relieved to make the individual potential to do things without any barriers. And also it is very important to make a note on SWOT analysis which a nalyse the Weakness and Threats of the individuals to find their Strengths and Opportunities.


Wiki quote has a collection of quotations related to: Procrastination ‡ Procrastination Central - A resource website at University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business. ncludes information from the Psychological Bulletin article "Nature of Procrastination," which reviews all procrastination research. ‡ Procrastination. CalPoly - Procrastination - Another excellent link with in depth-analysis of procrastinating behavior and possible cures ‡ Procrastination Research Group nformation and research related to

procrastination, Dept of Psychology, Carleton University. ‡ Procrastinate Podcasts - lectures on the psychology of procrastination by Dr. Pychyl, Procrastination Research Group, Carleton University. ‡ Self-Help Brochure - Self Help Brochure by University of Counselling Center ‡ Procrastination: Habit or Disorder? - A paper discussing the biological origins of procrastination ‡ Overcoming Procrastination: Counseling Services, University at Buffalo - Yet another great link with some reasons for procrastin ation and some ways to llinois,

overcome procrastination. Also has some places in Buffalo of where one can find help with procrastination.

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