Recently, there has appeared a significant amount of discussions about procrastination (from the Latin procrastinatus: pro – “instead of, ahead” and crastinus – “tomorrow”) – a tendency to postpone even the most important things for later continually. Unfortunately, this condition is inherent not only in adults – many teenagers and young people are also susceptible to it, which is why they subsequently have problems with academic performance. Let’s try to figure out why it is sometimes impossible to force yourself to complete some tasks and how to remedy the situation.
Why Students Procrastinate Class Assignments?
Pierce Steele, a University of Calgary professor of business disciplines, noted in a 2007 study that this phenomenon is widespread. According to him, from 80 to 95% of college students procrastinate from time to time, and almost 50% constantly. Moreover, 75% admit this condition.
Procrastination comes at a price: a 2015 study found that the longer business school students waited to complete an assignment, the worse their grades were.
This finding was also supported by meta-analysis: 33 studies, which involved more than 38,000 students (most of them college students), associated low grades with procrastination. What’s more, some medical researches have linked higher levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue to procrastination.
Devon Price, a social psychology professor from Loyola University, insists that the widespread belief that procrastinating students don’t care about education is misleading. The reasons are often divided into fear of failure and confusion in the early stages of the academic paper preparation.
Price explained that the more a person cares about the work outcome, the more they tend to procrastinate. Paralyzed by fear, a student watches TV for hours, reads fashion magazines – in a word, does what does not require any effort. Meanwhile, the problem is solvable. It is enough to allow yourself to have a break in the process of completing a difficult task, relax, temporarily switch to something more pleasant – the panic will subside, and you can return to the vital assignment.
DePaul University psychology professor Joseph Ferrari proves that college students often hesitate because they spend too much time worrying about whether they are correctly preparing a regular report – a task to which they got used in secondary and high school. For them, procrastination was a coping mechanism for stressful situations.
In his next study, Ferrari found another reason some students procrastinate is fear of criticism. He believes that many college students are self-sabotaging because they can blame deadlines for their low grades rather than their abilities. In this way, students try to protect their self-esteem.
Ferrari identified another motive for procrastination. Some students delayed getting started on the assignment because they enjoyed the excitement of the tight deadlines. It was a way for them to experience an adrenaline rush.
Therefore, indecisiveness, avoidance, and thrill-seeking are more realistic explanations for procrastination than laziness or lack of motivation.
How to Improve the Situation?
Here are some tips students can follow to avoid procrastination:
- Set deadlines evenly.
The experts examined the effectiveness of three types of deadlines:
– evenly distributed;
– the deadline set by the professor.
In the course of the first experiment, students were asked to submit three papers at the end of each month, choose their deadlines, or prepare all assignments by the end of the course.
In the second case, an assignment was given to be partially completed weekly, performed at a person’s own pace, or passed entirely at the end of the semester.
In both cases, evenly spaced time frames improved the students’ performance and reduced the likelihood of missing a deadline. Instead of preparing a large project before the final deadline, break it down into smaller assignments that can be completed in stages.
- Seek for support and feedback.
Students with low self-esteem are sometimes reluctant to submit completed assignments if they are concerned about criticism or fear of failure. Unflattering assessments can make students feel uncomfortable and discouraged to do something.
A 2017 study shows that many students lack the metacognitive skills needed to study effectively. For example, these include the ability to plan personal time or understand when to turn to a teacher for help.
The experiment participants were divided into two groups. The first was only given an assignment, and the second was helped plan the preparation and explained how to do it in detail. Members of the first group were surprised when their grades were lower than expected: they did not have an accurate idea of how well-prepared they were. The results of the second group turned out to be much better. Therefore, it is vital to focus on the instructions and not be afraid to ask professors for help.
Suppose you do not feel comfortable to turn to your teacher, no need to panic. Fortunately, there are many educational resources for students that offer free guides on paper formats and the best tips for writing with examples and revisions and proofreading services. Besides that, they have 24/7 live support, where representatives are ready to offer guidance and help even during weekends and public holidays.
- Remember and control the workload.
According to a 2015 study, the students’ likelihood of handing a paper closer to the deadline increases when the deadlines for different projects coincide.
Students also experience higher levels of stress if they feel like they cannot cope with several tasks that need to be completed simultaneously.
It is important to remember one rule – never leave written works until the last minute. As a rule, teachers initially tell their students what coursework or reports they have to submit at the beginning of the year. Already at this stage, you should start preparing them. Putting it aside until the crunch can lead to confusion, and the paper will end up being of low quality.
But anything may happen, so if you are in a situation when you are failing to prepare an assignment on time, do not be afraid to turn to professionals for help. And yet, in this case, you must choose a custom writing service wisely not to end up with a low-quality paper. Wr1ter.com is the best college essay writing service with a 100% positive feedback and client satisfaction rate. All customers receive unique and non-plagiarized college papers that meet any deadlines. Besides that, the security system maintains anonymity, so all customer information is safe and will never be disclosed. Therefore, a client is secure from any fraud actions.