Let's talk about procrastination

Updated: Nov 18, 2021


Why students procrastinate


We all know students who put things off, don’t we? In fact, many of us were that way in high school or college. Procrastination seems to be a natural part of being a student.


Do you remember sitting in your high school classroom and watching the clock slowly tick by at a snail’s pace? You’re not the only one. For countless students and adults alike, procrastination is a common issue. This is not because we’re lazy — but it’s because we don’t understand the underlying factors of procrastination or how to overcome them.


Procrastination. What is it and why do we do it?


Procrastination is the voluntary delaying of an intended task or action until a later time, generally because of fear, uncertainty or a lack of motivation.


There are many reasons students procrastinate, and we don’t have time here to discover every cause, but here are some common reasons. And they are………………...


1. Students procrastinate because they aren’t getting enough feedback on their work


Among the reasons why students procrastinate is because they aren’t getting enough feedback on their work. If you want to reduce procrastination, you need to make sure that students are getting more frequent feedback from their teachers.


In some cases, teachers don’t have time to provide feedback on every piece of work that a student completes. In other cases, teachers might not realize that students need more feedback. Sometimes, teachers may have unrealistic expectations about what students can do. In other cases, teachers might believe that giving too much feedback isn’t a good thing.


Of course, the quality of the feedback is also important. If you want to reduce procrastination, you need to make sure that students are getting more and better feedback from their teachers and parents. To reduce procrastination even further, then you need to make sure that the feedback is specific and timely.


If teachers are unable to provide feedback on every assignment, they should make sure that students are able to get feedback from peers or self-evaluate their own work.


2. Students procrastinate because of distractions


Another reason why students procrastinate is because of distractions. For example, think about how much time students spend playing video games, surfing the web, or scrolling through social media. All that time adds up and the more time you spend doing those things, the less time you have for studying.


Distractions are like weeds, they can grow quickly and take over your life. And once they start taking over your life, it's hard to get rid of them.


The first step to fighting distractions is to help students recognize that they have a problem. The second step is to figure out how these distractions are getting in the way. When you and students figure out what distracts them, you can make a plan to eliminate the distractions.


Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that you should NEVER play video games, watch TV, or play on the web. Those things can be fun and relaxing when done in moderation. The problem is when you do those things too much.


Students need to learn how to manage their time better if they want to be successful in school. The best way to do that is to create a study schedule and then stick to it.


3. Students procrastinate because they don't know how to manage their time effectively


One of the biggest reasons students procrastinate is because they don’t know how to manage their time effectively. Students' schedules may be packed with classes, extracurriculars, private lessons, chores, and more. These activities can take a lot of your time. The struggle to prioritize is not unique to school, but applies across business and industry, too.


Setting priorities is the first step to managing your time effectively. Without priorities, it's almost like you can't avoid procrastination. It is essential to prioritize tasks so that the most important ones are achieved first, and that time isn't wasted on activities that don't achieve anything. People often set goals for themselves but then fail to achieve them because they don't manage their time effectively.


There are many ways to effectively manage one's time, but generally, successful time management strategies fall into three categories:

  • planning

  • prioritizing

  • organizing

Students who manage their time effectively don’t feel overwhelmed by the mountain of work they have to accomplish. They're able to tackle challenging tasks without worrying about how they're going to finish everything on their plate. They're more likely to perform well on exams because they've already done the majority of the coursework required to prepare for it.

Time is a precious resource. Without the ability to manage it, we can't achieve according to our potential. It's crucial for students to learn how to manage their time effectively so they can get everything done on their to-do list.


4. Students procrastinate because of perfectionism


Perfectionism is a personality trait that makes it difficult to be productive. It’s common among students and it can be especially problematic when it comes to studying for tests or writing papers.


Perfectionists will often put things off because they feel that whatever they produce won’t be good enough. Perfectionists also feel that if they don’t do their work perfectly, it is worthless.


They’re afraid that if they give an effort, the outcome won’t be good enough for them. They feel like anything less than perfection is unacceptable.


This leads to procrastination because perfectionists are afraid of producing something that isn’t up to their own standards. That fear can cause them to put things off until the last minute even when they know that doing so will make them anxious, worried, and ultimately decrease their performance on the task at hand.


5. Students procrastinate because they're afraid of failure


Procrastination is like a game of chicken. You know you shouldn’t be playing, but it’s more interesting to wait and see if the other person will back down. And it’s easier to keep putting something off than to do it. That means if the only thing making you procrastinate is your own laziness, you can stop procrastinating just by forcing yourself to get started.


So what if the problem is deeper than that? What if you’re afraid of failing?


People procrastinate because they’re afraid of failing. But it is impossible to avoid all failure. The best you can do is to learn how to fail well.


If you want to be successful, you need to know how to fail well. It’s not just that failing teaches you how to succeed; you also need to know how to learn from your failures without paralyzing yourself with fear.


You have a lot on the line when you’re a student — your grades, your future, your parents’ expectations. It would be silly not to worry about failing, because there is a lot at stake. But that doesn’t mean that failure is inevitable.


The truth is that avoiding something doesn’t make it go away. That’s why it’s important to learn how to get past procrastination and get things done, especially when you’re a student. The first step is to look at what’s making you procrastinate. To get past procrastination, you have to clear out the excuses that are keeping you from getting work done.


Students are not alone when it comes to procrastination


Procrastination. We all do it. No one is immune to the dreaded disease of procrastination, but it can be cured.


The best way combat procrastination is to find out how it gets started in the first place. If you can reverse your course and start eliminating procrastinatory behaviors, you will be able to complete tasks more effectively and reach your goals a lot more easily.


Students are notorious for procrastinating, but it’s not because they are lazy. Procrastination is a psychological behavior that has been linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Understanding why students procrastinate is important for parents and educators because it helps us understand how we can help our children learn to manage their time more effectively.