Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination

Issue 15: April 19, 2023

One of the biggest struggles of a college student is procrastination, I know I am guilty of it, and I am sure you have run into an issue with it before too. Why do we procrastinate? My answer usually is: “Well, I work better under pressure. I do better when I wait till the very last minute possible and then stress for a couple hours and get it done.” I am not sure why I am this way; it is a very bad habit of mine. Despite what most individuals may claim, procrastinating rarely involves being lazy. In actuality, we often work furiously for extended periods of time right before our deadlines when we delay. Laziness is the exact opposite of hard work; therefore, it can’t be why we put in the effort. What causes us to put things off, and more importantly, what can we do to stop it?

Almost everyone who says this routinely puts off doing something and hasn’t finished a significant assignment that required planning, execution, evaluation, etc. before the due date. Therefore, they are unable to compare the situations in which they perform best. You can’t really say you “do better” under pressure if you pretty much always put off starting your tasks and never really go about them properly. Others claim they enjoy the “rush” of finishing tasks quickly and meeting deadlines. However, they typically say things like that when they are NOT working to the deadline. When they have forgotten the negative consequences of procrastination, such as emotions of anxiety and tension, weariness, and disappointment from falling short of their own expectations. Not to mention, waiting until the last minute greatly increases the likelihood that something will go wrong, such as falling sick or having a computer malfunction, and you won’t be able to achieve the necessary grade. Thus, delaying tasks can be difficult for us and actually raises the likelihood that we will fail, yet we still do it.

In order to stop procrastinating, you must first grasp the reason why you do it as well as the purpose it serves in your life. If you don’t fully comprehend the cause of the issue, you can’t come up with a practical solution. The secret to learning how to stop procrastinating is awareness and self-knowledge, just like with other difficulties. For many people, realizing how procrastination shields them from feeling inadequate and remembering this when they are tempted to relapse into old, neglecting patterns goes a long way toward overcoming the issue. Time management is a huge part that will help with overcoming procrastination but there are other factors that are just as important. Knowing your why for when you need to complete something is extremely important. When you have a why, such as “I need to finish this assignment so I can pass this class that is required for my degree,” this will give you the motivation you need to complete the assignment. If you complete it when you have free time it will eliminate stress that procrastination causes, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you got the assignment turned in a timely manner. Good luck and do your best to stop procrastinating and finish your semester out on a good note.