If you’re like me, there are some dreaded tasks you delay completing until the last day... if you do them at all. Welcome to the procrastinator club!
Adults and children around the world put off situations because of two main causes: perfection and fear of the unknown. They think that they can finish activities later, but they always forget to complete them. This is called procrastinating.
Procrastination is “defined as ‘delay’ … for instance, … it is ‘slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it’”(Piers Steel, Ph.d).
Why Do We Procrastinate?
One of the main causes of procrastination is perfection. Perfection can affect the amount of time used on a task. If it takes too long, most might want to put it off and do it later.
The other main cause is fear of the unknown. When individuals don’t know what to do, they usually assure themselves that they can do it later. Most humans get sidetracked and don’t finish their original task.
Overall, procrastination holds these victims back from reaching their final goal. Students everywhere suffer from academic procrastination. But in high school, students face a much bigger workload.
How Does Procrastination Negatively Affect Us?
Procrastinating during these critical high-school years can cause significant anxiety, lowered confidence, and eventually health problems. High schoolers are already especially challenged because of the anxiety to get into a good college. Procrastinating on homework and studying only increases their anxiety. If a pupil had a big project and didn’t do anything until the last day, understandably he or she will be more stressed.
What Long-term Effects Can We Expect?
Over time, procrastination results in weakened confidence. If students procrastinate on their homework and don’t finish it on time or don’t finish it at all, they will obviously suffer from a lack of confidence in classroom presentations, tests, or final exams.
Another negative effect is health problems. According to journalist Zoe Levin, “Psychology Today interviewed college students who claimed to consistently procrastinate, in order to find long term effects of procrastination. The website’s study found that students who procrastinate caught more colds and cases of flu and had gastrointestinal problems. The majority of these students also had insomnia.”
Although procrastination has many adverse effects, there is a solution: changing from a fixed to a growth mindset. A growth mindset can help with procrastination by believing that one can still improve after, falling short or failing assignments.
As shown, procrastination harms individuals, teams, and society; even narrowing and eliminating one’s future opportunities. Personally, as a victim of procrastination, writing this piece has helped open my eyes to further understand the emotional causes and deleterious effects of procrastination.
I hope it's enough to help me take action against procrastination—How about you?