Tuesday, 8 March 2011


I have handed out and collected in my questionnaires from a range of people, male and female from the ages of 18-55. So far I have found that it is quite common to clean and watch TV as a way of procrastinating.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Is procrastination a bad thing??

Listen to your procrastination. Procrastination happens for a reason, as much as any other task-impacting attitude. Aside from the possible reasons outlined in the previous step, learning to listen to your procrastination can be a way of listening to your inner feelings when you would rather put that challenging task on hold. Is it possible that your procrastination is telling you one of the following?:

* What you're doing is genuinely boring and even if it has to be done, perhaps there are better ways of doing it? Ways that don't necessarily involve you, or you on your own?
* What you're doing isn't your strength or even interest. Perhaps you're studying the wrong field because your parents told you to become a doctor or lawyer but you wanted to be an artist? Or perhaps you're working in the wrong job because you liked the sound of the company until you joined it and realized what you're really in for?
* What you're doing is riddled with inconsistencies, weaknesses, errors, and blatant inaccuracies but to fix these would take a lot of effort or even explaining to the boss and you know it's way over your ability to fix.
* What you're doing is no longer a strength of yours because you've moved on mentally and experience-wise and you're ready for a new challenge.
* What you're doing is objectively pointless, and there are probably really much better things you could be expending your energies on. You just need to find the right way to explain this to the boss, teacher, or client...


Definition of procrastinating

the act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or defering an action to a later time .
dilatoriness: slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it

Procrastination refers to the counterproductive deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. ...

The act of postponing, delaying or putting off, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness

procrastinate - postpone doing what one should be doing; "He did not want to write the letter and procrastinated for days"
procrastinate - postpone or delay needlessly; "He procrastinated the matter until it was almost too late"

Why do we procrastinate?

Because we are afraid.
Fear of failure: If you are scared that a particular piece of writing isn't going to turn out well, then you may avoid working on it in order to avoid feeling the fear.

Fear of success: Some procrastinators (the author of this handout included) fear that if they start working at their full capacity, they will turn into workaholics. Since we procrastinate compulsively, we assume that we will also write compulsively; we envision ourselves locked in a library carrel, hunched over the computer, barely eating and sleeping and never seeing friends or going out. The procrastinator who fears success may also assume that if they work too hard, they will become mean and cold to the people around them, thus losing their capacity to be friendly and to have fun. Finally, this type of procrastinator may think that if they stop procrastinating, then they will start writing better, which will increase other people's expectations, thus ultimately increasing the amount of pressure they experience.

Fear of losing autonomy: Some people delay writing projects as a way of maintaining their independence. When they receive a writing assignment, they procrastinate as a way of saying, "You can't make me do this. I am my own person." Procrastinating helps them feel more in control of situations (such as college) in which they believe that other people have authority.

Fear of being alone: Other writers procrastinate because they want to feel constantly connected to other people. For instance, you may procrastinate until you are in such a bind that someone has to come and rescue you. Procrastination therefore ensures that other people will be involved in your life. You may also put off writing because you don't want to be alone, and writing is oftentimes a solitary activity. In its worst form, procrastination itself can become a companion, constantly reminding you of all that you have to do.

Fear of attachment: Rather than fearing separation, some people procrastinate in order to create a barrier between themselves and others. They may delay in order to create chaos in their lives, believing that the chaos will keep other people away.
Whether these fears appear in our conscious or subconscious minds, they paralyze us and keep us from taking action, until discomfort and anxiety overwhelms us and forces us to either a) get the piece of writing done or b) give up. (The preceding is a summary of Chapters 2-4 of Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen's Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1983.)

Because we expect ourselves to be perfect.
Procrastination and perfectionism often go hand in hand. Perfectionists tend to procrastinate because they expect so much of themselves, and they are scared about whether or not they can meet those high standards. Perfectionists sometimes think that it is better to give a half-hearted effort and maintain the belief that they could have written a great paper, than to give a full effort and risk writing a mediocre paper. Procrastinating guarantees failure, but it helps perfectionists maintain their belief that they could have excelled if they had tried harder. Another pitfall for perfectionists is that they tend to ignore progress toward a goal. As long as the writing project is incomplete, they feel as though they aren't getting anywhere, rather than recognizing that each paragraph moves them closer to a finished product.

Because we don't like our writing.
You may procrastinate on writing because you don't like to re-read what you have written; you hate writing a first draft and then being forced to evaluate it, in all its imperfection. By procrastinating, you ensure that you don't have time to read over your work, thus avoiding that uncomfortable moment.

Because we're too busy.
Practical concerns: jobs, other classes, etc.

Because it works.
Unfortunately, procrastination helps reinforce itself. When we avoid doing something we dread (like writing) by doing something we enjoy (such as watching TV, hanging out with friends, etc.), we escape the dreaded task. Given such a choice, it's no wonder that many of us choose to procrastinate. When we write a paper at the last minute and still manage to get a good grade, we feel all the more compelled to procrastinate next time around.



Defintions and explantions

In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrastination

Everyone procrastinates. We put things off because we don't want to do them, or because we have too many other things on our plates. Putting things off—big or small—is part of being human. You suspect that you could be a much better writer if only you didn't put off writing projects until the last minute. You find that just when you have really gotten going on a paper, it's time to turn it in; so, you never really have time to revise or proofread carefully. You love the rush of adrenalin you get when you finish a paper ten minutes before it's due, but you (and your body) are getting tired of pulling all-nighters. You feel okay about procrastinating while in college, but you worry that this habit will follow you into your working life.