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Procrastination: How to Beat It

Nikkolai Roel L. Santayana
Polytechnic University of the Philippines



A person is somehow considered a "procrastinator" when he/she delays or put things off that
should be done in a timely manner. Many people usually do procrastination, especially students.
It is addressed as a bad habit but it can be a serious problem if it affects the important matters in
ones daily life causing low quality papers, low exam scores, or missing tasks. Postponing or
putting off something out of habitual carelessness or laziness is procrastination. It may be a long
process but one can change a bad habit by considering solutions on how to deal with it. This can
help an individual assess if he/she is already a procrastinator and learn how to counter it.


Being late and incomplete works are some of the effects of procrastination. It negatively
affects a person's daily routine and it can change the perspective of others towards the
effectiveness and efficiency of one's work. A person will look lazy and irresponsible just
because of a bad habit. During procrastination, it is mostly postponement of various tasks and at
the end, there will be too many of them for one to handle. In effect of this, deadlines will not be
met and different problems will arise.
Procrastination is becoming a common problem for most people. Avoiding a particular
activity that should be done is procrastination. One definition of procrastination was given as the
act of needlessly delaying tasks to the point of experiencing subjective discomfort (Solomon and
Rothblum, 1984). Some researches says that a procrastinator usually have low self-esteem and
attribute their procrastination to character flaws such as laziness or lack of self-control. The
quality of work will always be less when procrastinating.
One problem with procrastination is one does not have enough time to plan a certain task,
in result, some of the important things will be overlooked and the outcome won't be as good as
when planned precisely. Planning ahead of time will make tasks much easier and it will keep
simple mistakes from happening. Increase in stress is also another problem with procrastination
because there will only be a limited time left to complete an assignment or to meet a deadline. It
is also called "cramming'. By the time a person decided to cram for a task surely there will be
other assignments left undone. That is when the stress, frustration and worries comes in.


Causes of Procrastination
There are many effects to the haunting problem of procrastination. Some of the common
causes of procrastinations are fear of failure where one wait until the last minute to perform a
task. By procrastinating, a built-in excuse for one's self is already present in case the task is not
successful. Lack of interest in an assignment is a common cause because at the very beginning,
the initiative to complete the task is lost. Confusing or unmanageable task may result to
procrastination due to the difficulty of the task.
How to Overcome Procrastination
There are 3 keys to beat procrastination. First is to know when a person is procrastinating
or not. With the different meanings and instances of procrastination given, one can already
recognize if he/she is a procrastinator. Second, knowing why a person is resorting to
procrastination. It may be caused by an unpleasant job, the person involved is disorganized and
many more. Lastly, try anti-procrastination strategies. In connection with the causes given above,
for example, fear of failure. Try exaggerating those fears and imagine the worst possible result if
a task will not be done on time. If a project looks unappealing, give a reward for yourself when
you completed the task efficiently. Confusing or unmanageable tasks can be countered when you
plan to break it to smaller pieces and start little by little.
Procrastination impacts almost everyone. The longer a person can spend without
procrastinating, the greater chances one can break this habit. To have a good chance of
conquering procrastination, you need to spot straight away that you're doing it. Then, you need to
identify why you're doing it and take appropriate steps to overcome the block.


Schraw, G., L. Olafson, and T. Wadkins. 2007. Doing the things we do: A grounded theory of
academic procrastination.
Rothblum et al. 1986
Fischer, C. 1999. Procrastination with time-consistent preferences.
Procrastination Nation. 2005. Talk of the Nation. National Public Radio php?storyId=5053416
Tessa Miller, 2013. The Science Behind Why We Procrastinate
Michael Pitts and Jennifer Bennett, 2011. Just Do It: Tips for Avoiding Procrastination


The paper is recommended because procrastination affect one's life given the problems it
will cause and the outcomes it will create towards a person's self-esteem.
In addition, this report recommends further work to:

assessment of whether a person is procrastinating

understand and expound the facets of procrastination
establish more plans to change and fight common habits
stages of procrastination
types of procrastinators and their behaviours