Procrastination is the avoidance
of doing a task which needs to be accomplished.
This can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression and
self-doubt. Procrastination has a high potential for painful consequences.
It interferes with our academic, professional and personal success.
The reasons for procrastination are many, with the basic ones
being perfectionism, fantasizing, fear, crisis making, anger,
overdoing, and pleasure seeking. The following are tips for overcoming
Turn Elephants into Hors d’oeuvres – When you just
can not seem to get started on a project, try breaking
it down into smaller tasks and do just one of
the smaller tasks or set a timer and work on the big task for
just 15 minutes. If you know your thirty-page term paper is due
in one month, start today by picking your topic or writing a rough
outline. By doing a little at a time, you won’t feel so
overwhelmed and eventually you'll reach a point where you will
want to finish.
Research Highlight – Procrastinators Finish Last
In studies with students taking a health psychology course, researchers
found that although procrastinating provided short-term benefits,
including periods of low stress, the tendency to dawdle had long-term
costs, including poorer health and lower grades. Early in the
semester, the procrastinators reported less stress and fewer health
problems than students who scored low on procrastination. However,
by the end of the semester, procrastinators reported more health-related
symptoms, more stress, and more visits to health-care professionals
than nonprocrastinators. They also received significantly lower
grades on term papers and exams.
Procrastinators Always Finish Last, Even in Health. American
Psychological Monitor, Vol. 20, No. 1, January, 1998 –
reported in Hales, 2003