Did You Procrastinate?



The first blogging period is done and it made me realize something that always happens with people- procrastination.  The website was taking such a long time to work the last two days because there were so many of us trying to cram in our last few things to get the grade we wanted.  Everyone knows how stressful it is to wait until the last minute, yet so many of us are always doing it.  So, why?  What's make people so easily procrastinate for everything we do?

The "world's leading experts on procrastination, Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago, and Timothy Pychyl, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada", they have answers as to why people do this and neither of them have ever fell under this category of being a procrastinator.

According to these men, "twenty percent of people say they are chronic procrastinators."  While knowing when they live this "lifestyle" it has nothing but negative effects on their life and opportunities that have arisen for them.  Surprisingly though, procrastination is not correlated with "time management" or planning, they can estimate time just as well as others.  Dr. Ferrari states: "Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up." 

Another fact of procrastination is you can't blame this on genetics; it is something indirectly learned from the world around you (ex: friends and family).  These procrastinators usually turn towards friends over family in these times because friends are more accepting of their excuses and "tolerate" this behavior.  They are also found to drink "higher levels of alcohol" due to their problems with self-regulation. 

What else?  They lie to themselves: "I'll feel more like doing this tomorrow."  No, they will not feel like doing it tomorrow either.  Once they realize they don't feel like doing it at all they will continue to lie to themselves with saying it's not important.  These are all extremely common traits in procrastinators, but there are three main different types.

1.     The first is an "arousal type" or thrill seeking.  This gives them a type of rush to finish everything at the last minute.

2.     The second type is avoiders, they are concerned about others thoughts on them, whether failure of success, by procrastinating people will think that lack effort than possible failure. 

3.     The last type is "decisional", which means they just can't make up their mind.  Making it impossible to start their work because they won't decide how exactly they want to go about it.

So, besides the stress that can come along with it, are there any real reasons to not be doing this? Of course there are.  It can affect your health.  College students especially, they are more likely to get a cold/flu, have GI problems and have insomnia.  Also, the responsibilities they are dodging don't just disappear, they go onto others and it can make friends, family and group partners resent the person for their "lack of responsibility." 

Timothy Pychyl, Ph.D. in Psychology working at Carleton University, talks about an observational study him and his students did on procrastination.  He said they used electronic pagers and the participants were randomly paged for research thought the day for about two weeks.  When paged they were asked questions: "What are you doing?  Is there something else you should be doing?" and "How are you feeling?  What are you thinking?"  When asked these questions they would ask them to rate on a scale of 1-10 how stressful the tasks were that they were suppose to be doing.  One of the most interesting findings from the study were the change in their view on their "stressful tasks" after they had completed them.  One of the main findings from this study was the way people falsely perceive things to put them off.  The students would say they have these terrible, stressful tasks to do.  But, once they completed the tasks, they would come back to say how easy and un-stressful it really was.

Overall, procrastinators can change, but it will take a lot of commitment and some possible "cognitive behavioral therapy."  We all do it at times, but if you feel like you procrastinate everything in your life and possibly fall under one of the three types, you might want to start thinking about getting help for it to better your life in the long run.







This is really interesting. After reading this, I think I am a "decisional" type of procrastinator. This is not one of my best qualities, I must admit. I don't think its making me crazy or anything, but I know it drives my mom crazy. Being in college now, i sometimes wish she was here telling me to start my homework! It's raining today as everyone can tell, so instead of going to the game, I decided to hit the books. I'm making good choices to get out of my bad habits! I read up on some good study habits that may help anyone else with problems focusing. http://www.studygs.net/attmot4.htm

Seeing as I am not someone who procrastinates, I can't relate directly to this blog; however, I think it's a very interesting topic! I always found myself judging people who just can't seem to bring themselves to do any of their work, but I had no idea it was a "learned behavior" that becomes a habit. I never realized that people who procrastinate actually make it part of their lifestyle - I thought it was something they were choosing to do over and over again (or I guess, not do). I think it's interesting that procrastination has a lot to do with "rewards" - check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nBwfZZvjKo&feature=player_embedded

Though I hate to admit it. I was one of those people that crammed in 5 blog posts and a boatload of comments in the last couple days this 1st blog period was over. I also think that I am avoider/decisional procrastinater. Sometimes I just want to avoid doing the work, and the other half of the time I'm just indecisive on whether I should do work or not because I was invited to hang with friend or go out with them. So I hope to fix that issue soon and make sure that I get all my work done days or maybe even a week before its due so I don't procrastinate.


ways to destroy your procrastination problem.

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