By Eden Ovadia
As a student in high school trying to balance many advanced placement (AP) classes as well as extracurriculars, one of the hardest things to deal with is procrastination. Whether I am constantly checking my social media accounts or performing tasks that are not a priority, sometimes I just cannot help but avoid the things that need to be done. I also know that I am not alone.
According to Joseph Ferrari, professor of psychology at DePaul University, as many as 20 percent of people may be “chronic procrastinators.” This includes the 80 to 95 percent of college students who have been found to procrastinate on their classwork by the American Psychological Association.
Procrastination has undoubtedly been a part of human society forever and has influenced some of the greatests minds that we value today.
However, there are some people that value procrastination and depend on it to help them succeed. Jin Nam Choi, PhD, a business professor at Seoul National University in South Korea, contrasts the two different types of procrastinators: active and passive. He described passive procrastinators as those who postpone their tasks because of poor time management and active procrastinators as those who achieve desired outcomes due to time pressure.
“From my own life and findings from these studies, I believe that procrastination characterized by these four effects—outcome satisfaction, preference for pressure, intentional decision and ability to meet deadlines—is beneficial for individual well-being and performance,” Choi said in his research paper.
Though, procrastination can be dangerous and can lead to tolls on mental and physical health. It can have long-term effects such as anxiety and becoming more prone to illnesses, for instance. Those who procrastinate might also exercise less and not visit the doctor as frequently as they need to.
Therefore, it is extremely important to help those who procrastinate and show them ways to prevent this unhealthy lifestyle.
One way to deal with procrastination is to stop focusing on the difficulties that come with an assignment. It could be boring, difficult, or time-consuming, but by blocking these negative thoughts out, it can be easier to focus on completing the task itself.
Another way to avoid procrastination is to have a reliable partner who is able to help the procrastinator stay on track in terms of deadlines and completed work. This partner could be the key in helping one develop the motivation to continue working on the necessary task. Becoming accountable to someone or something causes people to become more responsible and not want to ruin the trust and expectations of someone else.
Finally, focusing on the reason the task needs to be completed can help in dealing with procrastination. Instead of avoiding a task because of the trouble it will cause, focus on the benefits of completing it. The boost in your grade or the approval of a boss is the light at the end of the tunnel, giving you something to look forward to once a task is complete.
There are many more ways on how to deal with procrastination and different ones work for different people. Whatever it may be, it is important to find what is right for you and to start avoiding the unhealthy lifestyle of procrastination.