I’ll do it Later: The Procrastination Syndrome

By Andrew Knepfle

Almost everyone procrastinates once in a while. But why do we procrastinate? And what are the after-efects of procrastination on ourselves and the people around us? That is what I wanted to find out. Because if we know what causes it, we can prevent it in the future.

Procrastination is the avoidment of a task or action wich requires completion; by focusing on another task. And while almost everyone procrastinates once in a a while; there are a few people wich experence cronic procrastination. Cronic procrastination can be a sign that there is an underlying sychological or physiological disorder or mental health problem (wikipedia 1).

The causes of procrastination vary and can be psychological as well as physiological. 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; powerlessnes; or that of being overwelmed or swamped with work (Austin 1).

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 efforts turn out, wich also may lead to low self-esteem (Austin 1).

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 impuse 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 indivdual’s ability to wilter out distractions; wich can lead to decreased attention, and increased procrastination ( Wikipedia 1). This is similar to the lower ativation of the prefrontal cortex in people with ADD.

For those few people who suffer from cronic procrastination, the cause may be an underlying mental health problem. Attention defict disorder or depression may increase the probability that one procrastinates (Wikipedia 1). Severe and exreme cases of procrastination can cross into computer ,videogame, and pornography addiction. In these exreme cases fo procrastination; in wich there is a mental health problem; medication or therapy can reveal and cure the underlying problem. That, in turn, will help reduce procrastination.

One of the effects procrastination has is that by procrastinating ;the procrastinating person is reinforcing the negativa habit, and is more likly to repeat it later. Also, for one who procrastinates, he or she may experience feelings of guilt for getting by with substandard work; as seen most often with academics 9wikipedia 1).

Procrastination limits how much time one has to complete the udezired task; in turn creating a substandard result and resulting in more stress. It also can lead to a lowered sense of self-worth or lowered self-esteem. Procastination also leads to decreased productivity. It also leads to more and more procrastination;and may make a task that could have been enjoyable into a daunting task. Procrastination also limits how much time one has for enjoyable tasks because one wastes his or he time procrastinating. Procrastination also can cause physical illness because of the stress that is coupled and caused by procrastination.

The causes and effects of procrastination all have negative effects on a person’s ability to properly funtion in society. Procrastination also has negative effects on others as well; because others around the procrastinating indivdual get substandard work. But really geting rid of procrastination completly is almost impossible. Everyone procrastinates once in a while; but if we know what causes it, we can prevent procrastination.

Workss Cited

Austin, Kevin.”Procrastination.” Dec. 13, 2004. Caltech

ounseling Center. May. 4,

2006. http://www.counseling.caltech.edu/index.html. “Procrastination.” May 4, 2006. Wikipedia. May 4, 2006. http://www.wikipedia.org/.

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