Due tomorrow, do tomorrow: why we procrastinate

You are sitting at your desk, staring at a blank Word document on your computer. It is two a.m. and you are just starting your Chemistry paper due at eight a.m.

Sound familiar? People put off tasks because they do not feel like doing them, or they have too many other things to do.

Procrastinators lie to themselves. They say, “I’ll feel more like doing this tomorrow.” Or “I work best under pressure.” But in fact, they do not get the urge the next day or work best under pressure.

In addition, they protect their sense of self by saying “this is not important.” Another big lie procrastinators tell themselves is that time pressure makes them more creative.

Dr. Ferrari, a psychology professor at DePaul University, states that there are three types of procrastinators.

The first type is arousal type, the people who wait until the last minute to complete something, because they like the adrenaline rush of finishing a paper ten minutes before it is due.

The second type is avoiders who put off the task because they have a fear of failure or even a fear of success. Or people might be avoiders just because they are not up to the task, so they avoid it, thinking that they will come back to it later and will be more motivated later, when in fact, they are not.

The third type of procrastinators is decisional procrastinators. These people cannot make a decision no matter how hard they try. So, they put off making that decision until they absolutely have to.

Psychology teacher at North Springs Ms. Kaminsky said, “The activity may be one that the person simply does not want to do, he or she may be afraid to fail and, as a consequence, delays any attempt to complete the assignment, or the person may be disorganized and not realize (or cognitively process) when the assignment is due or how long the assignment will actually take to complete.”

While procrastinating may seem like it is the best way to stay stress free and not worry about the thing you have to do, it actually increases your stress and anxiety. It could turn into a habit that continues throughout high school, college, your job, etc.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can overcome your procrastination.

One good way to deal with procrastination is to create a schedule, or simply, to have a planner. This always helps me to feel more organized, knowing that I have everything that I need to do written down, and having my tests and quizzes written down on the day that they are occurring.

“I always write down my assignments and break them down into portions that I can work with, without piling too much on to stress me out. I estimate how long I think it would take me to complete it and always get things done ahead of time,” said sophomore Rebecca Cohen.

It is important to get the work done, and you will feel better and so relieved once you overcome your procrastination and know that all of your work is finished ahead of time!

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