Danger of Procrastination

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
To remind us about important of doing things at the right time

Submitted: April 26, 2008

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Submitted: April 26, 2008

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Danger of procrastination and conquering it

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Procrastination! We all do it – put something off which actually we could do straightaway. We put it off to try and increase our pleasure, but often end up giving ourselves stress and guilt instead.

Why do we do it? The most insidious reasons are:

1. We are anxious about the task and spend time worrying about it rather than just making a start.

2. We are afraid of failure – ‘Everyone will know I’m not up to this.’ Or conversely we may fear success – ‘Will my colleagues still like me if I do really well in this?’

3. Perfectionism or unrealistically high standards. We might think we have to read everything we can find on a subject before starting an essay. We might expect the first draft of a report to read like a classic piece of literature.

4. Negative beliefs about our abilities – ‘I’m not clever enough to do this. I’ve never been good at this sort of thing.’

We’ll have a look at some simple ways to tackle the more deep-seated reasons for procrastination next time.

There are many other reasons for putting things off, such as finding the job boring, feeling overwhelmed, not understanding what is required or trying to avoid tasks you don’t enjoy. Reasons like these seem to me less difficult to cope with, once acknowledged, as there are simple practical steps you can take to rectify the situation – get somebody else to do it, for example!

Conquering procrastination :

The most prevalent reasons for procrastination are unpleasantness and complexity task; we can try the following to beat this:

  • Do the toughest job first, get them out of the way early .
  • Analysis the task. Why do you dread it? Confront the distasteful part.
  • Tackle the task in bits and pieces. Cut it down into segments
  • Promise others that you will complete the task by a specific time.
  • Consider the costy of delaying and the benefit of acting now

Furthermore to get beyond the fear of complexity we can try the following ideas:

  • Break the task down into small steps
  • Focus on one step at a time
  • Break the steps down further into several “mini-jobs”
  • Don’t wait for the right mood: start now.

Adapted from success secretes by, Merrill Douglas, advantage quest publication Oklahoma

According to wickipedia -

Procrastination is the deferment or avoidance of an action or task and is often linked to perfectionism. For the person procrastinating this may result in stress, a sense of guilt, the loss of productivity, the creation of crisis, and the chagrin of others for not fulfilling one's responsibilities or commitments. While it is normal for individuals to procrastinate to some degree, it becomes a problem when it impedes normal functioning. Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological or physiological disorder.

The word itself comes from the Latin word procrastinatus: pro- (forward) and crastinus (of tomorrow). The term's first known appearance was in Edward Hall's Chronicle (The union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancestre and Yorke), first published sometime before 1548.[1] The sermon reflected procrastination's connection at the time to task avoidance or delay, volition or will, and sin.

further more according to wikipedia :

Causes of procrastination

Psychological

The psychological causes of procrastination vary greatly, but generally surround issues of anxiety, low sense of self-worth, a self-defeating mentality or laziness. Procrastinators are also thought to have a higher-than-normal level of conscientiousness, more based on the "dreams and wishes" of perfection or achievement in contrast to a realistic appreciation of their obligations and potential.

Physiological

Research on the physiological roots of procrastination mostly surround the role of the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain is responsible for executive brain functions such as planning, impulse control, attention, and acts as a filter by decreasing distracting stimuli from other brain regions. Damage or low activation in this area can reduce an individual's ability to filter out distracting stimuli, ultimately resulting in poorer organization, a loss of attention and increased procrastination. This is similar to the prefrontal lobe's role in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), where underactivation is common.

Procrastination and mental health

Procrastination can be a persistent and debilitating disorder in some people, causing significant psychological disability and dysfunction. These individuals may actually be suffering from an underlying mental health problem such as depression or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

While procrastination is a behavioral condition, these underlying mental health disorders can be treated with medication and/or therapy. Medication can improve an individual's attention span (in the case of ADHD) or improve overall mood (in the case of depression). Therapy can be a useful tool in helping an individual learn new behaviors, overcome fears and anxieties, and achieve an improved quality of life. Thus it is important for people who chronically struggle with debilitating procrastination to see a trained therapist or psychiatrist to see if an underlying mental health issue may be present.

Severe procrastination and/or ADD can cross over into internet addiction or computer addiction. In this instance the individual has a compulsion to avoid reality by surfing the web or playing video games (see Game addiction) or looking at online pornography (see Pornography addiction). Although these are relatively new phenomena, they are being considered as psychiatric diagnoses by mental health professionals.

Perfectionism

Traditionally, procrastination has been associated with perfectionism, a tendency to negatively evaluate outcomes and one's own performance, intense fear and avoidance of evaluation of one's abilities by others, heightened social self-consciousness and anxiety, recurrent low mood, and workaholism. Slaney (1996) found that adaptive perfectionists were less likely to procrastinate than non-perfectionists, while maladaptive perfectionists (people who saw their perfectionism as a problem) had high levels of procrastination (and also of anxiety).[3]

Academic procrastination

While academic procrastination is not a special type of procrastination, procrastination is thought to be particularly prevalent in the academic setting, where students are required to meet deadlines for assignments and tests in an environment full of events and activities which compete for the students' time and attention. More specifically, a 1992 study showed that "52% of surveyed students indicated having a moderate to high need for help concerning procrastination"

Some students struggle with procrastination due to a lack of time management or study skills, stress, or feeling overwhelmed with their work. Students can also struggle with procrastination for medical reasons such as ADD/ADHD or a learning disorder such as dyslexia.

The situation is worse at the graduate level, where the conditions are perfect for procrastination—intangible mental work with flexible deadlines and unclear goals. Instructors have coined the term ABD students (All But Dissertation) for people who are especially susceptible. Teachers, school counselors, and others in school administration should be trained to address these issues when they arise. Many colleges and universities offer classes, coaching, and tutoring in study skills for students who are struggling with procrastination or a learning disorder. Students with ADD or learning disorders often qualify for special considerations such as increased time for test-taking.

It is not known how often a severe case of procrastination caused by a mental health problem may fail to be noticed when the person is in an academic context, because it is merely categorized as "academic procrastination".

Types of procrastinators

The relaxed type

The relaxed type of procrastinators view their responsibilities negatively and avoid them by directing energy into other tasks. It is common, for example, for relaxed type procrastinating children to abandon schoolwork but not their social lives. This type of procrastination is a form of denial. The procrastinator avoids situations that would cause displeasure, indulging instead in more enjoyable activities. In Freudian terms, such procrastinators refuse to renounce the pleasure principle, instead sacrificing the reality principle. They may not appear to be worried about work and deadlines, but this is simply an evasion.

The tense-afraid type

The tense-afraid type of procrastinator usually feels overwhelmed with pressure, unrealistic about time, uncertain about goals and many other negative feelings. Feeling that they lack the ability or focus to successfully complete their work, they tell themselves that they need to unwind and relax, that it's better to take it easy for the afternoon, for example, and start afresh in the morning. Their 'relaxing' is a temporary and ineffective measure, and leads to even more stress as time runs out, deadlines approach and the person feels increasingly guilty and apprehensive. This behavior becomes a cycle of failure and delay, as plans and goals are put off, penciled into the following day or week in the diary again and again. It can also have a debilitating effect on their personal lives and relationships. Since they are uncertain about their goals, they often feel awkward with people who appear confident and goal-oriented, which can lead to depression. Tense-afraid procrastinators often withdraw from social life, avoiding contact even with close friends.


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