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“I get everything done at the exact moment I say I’m going to do it”. Said no one ever. Who are we kidding? Many of us have procrastinated in something within our lives. The textbook defines procrastination as “delaying the completion of a task or intended course of action” (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Have you ever caught yourself or someone you know saying: “Ehh, I’ll just do it tomorrow”? I’m right there with you. I know for a fact that I’ve been guilty of this countless times. For example, I might wake up one day and tell myself that I’m going to clean the house or my room that day. After a long day of work or a long day of doing schoolwork, I’ve found myself so exhausted that I tell myself that I’ll clean tomorrow and that it’s not a big deal.

With the school environment, there are studies that have shown that there is a big section of students in college that tend to procrastinate on their school work (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). In my first year of college, before I started working more and had lesser responsibilities, I can recall myself procrastinating a lot. Back in middle/high school, I was a huge procrastinator. The textbook says that that there are some students that prefer to work under pressure because they feel like they produce even better academic work when they pull an all-nighter (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Another reason that is described is that there are students that have a fear of failing and have concern over the impact that the failing would have on their self-concept in school (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). The individual might feel like they’re incapable of completing the assignments or studying for an exam and through this, it could all bring their self-esteem down (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). There were many times that I ended up pulling all-nighters back in middle school and high school. After reading the textbook, I look back on my grade school days when I pulled those all-nighters and honestly even in present day when I’ve procrastinated or pulled an all-nighter and these reasonings that researchers have given make sense.

I have always had a fear of failure and that’s exactly why I’d stay up all night or procrastinate. I’ve had the mentality often where I don’t think I’m intelligent enough to accomplish an assignment/project or that I won’t pass an exam because I’m not capable of retaining information in my brain and I’ll probably fail anyway. This mindset has made me push off doing things in an attempt to avoid that feeling of failure. From what I’ve learned through my studying in psychology, I’ve learned about exposure therapy and how I should slowly expose myself to my fears in order to hopefully one day overcome them, rather than avoid what scares me for the rest of my life. It obviously won’t change in an instant or overnight, but the little steps you take are so very important. I think I’ve come a long way from my middle/high school days in term of school work but there’s a lot more work to do (no pun intended). However, progress is key.

Another reasoning for procrastination has been described by researchers as being an issue of motivation (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Trying to find the motivation can be tough as well. I know for me, with the other aspects of depression and anxiety that I face every day, finding motivation can sometimes seem like the biggest task in the world. With this, and that fear of failure, some days it can be so difficult to convince the mind to engage into things. Studies have shown that students that are motivated, have the ability to focus their attention on the tasks/goals at hand, and organize themselves and their time and effort so that they finish what they need to get done (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). It’s even harder when you don’t want to procrastinate, and you have the desire to so badly to do everything beforehand instead of the last minute, but those things that I mentioned above, hinder you from doing so.

In present day though, as mentioned before, exposing myself to that fear of failure very slowly is showing me a little bit that my idea of being “incapable” or “not smart enough” is my brain playing tricks on me. Some days I believe it 100% but now there are some days where I feel like I am capable instead and I’d call that progress. Exposing yourself to that fear (or any), can help to rewire your brain into thinking that you are capable. Besides, if I’ve ever learned anything, it was from one of my favorite Disney movies, Meet the Robinson’s, where the main message is to “KEEP MOVING FORWARD”, no matter how many times you think you’re failing. I hope that I get to a place one day where no anxiety, no depression, no lack of motivation, etc. will stop me from completing my tasks without hinderance/procrastination. Sharing this “fault” of procrastination that I see in myself is hard but necessary. What about you? Do you have situations/experiences of procrastinations that you’ve had in your own life? If so, why do you think you procrastinate? Is it different now than it was back in grade school?


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  1. I really enjoyed reading your post! It describes me perfectly. I’ve almost always been a procrastinator, however, I’ve never thought of it being because I felt I wasn’t able to do well until I read your post. That makes a lot of sense. I’ve always put things off because I was scared to do the assignment thinking that its too difficult and I won’t understand it. However, when I do it last minute, I forces myself to do my best no matter what because regardless, submitting anything is better than nothing, and to my surprise, every time, I end up getting a good grade, surpassing my expectations. Every time that happens I tell myself, “next time I won’t procrastinate, and I will do it right away” however, it just becomes a habit, and it’s a very hard habit to break.

    My days of being a procrastinator didn’t start however until my second year of college. During my middle school, high school days and first year of college, I was actually the type of student that would get my homework done first thing. I would come home, and right away get started with my homework and I would always finish it before everyone else. I did this because I was always excited about school and enjoyed it, I also wasn’t working and had no other responsibilities besides just being a student, so that made it a lot easier. I was always getting straight A’s and was proud of my work. This stopped once I started to get busy with other things, such as working, I started working part time during my second year of college, and thats when the procrastination started. I would always come home tired and tell myself I can just finish my homework tomorrow, and everyday repeat that same cycle, until I get to the last day before it due, and I have no choice but to pull an all nighter and get it done. This became the norm for me for a long time since I was always working long hours and didn’t have much time for school work. However, when I finally stopped working and went back to being a full time student, I found that those habits stayed with me. Even though I wanted to get the work done right away so I wouldn’t have to worry about it all week, I would still leave it until the very last minute, part of the reason I feel that this happened is because what I just mentioned how it became a habit, but also because I realized that I am capable of getting the work done under these time constraints and like you mentioned, the feeling of doing a better job when under stress.

    Another reason is because before when I use to get my work done in a timely manner, I was doing very well in school, getting good grades. However, when I started working, my grades suffered due to my schedule being busy and not having enough time to get all the work done, therefore, when my grades started to suffer, I lost that feeling of excitement, and adopted the attitude of well my grades are no good anyways, so whats the harm in procrastinating? However, this just made things worse, and instead of my grades getting better, they just kept getting worse and worse. So what I liked most about your post is that you brought to my attention that there is a great deal of psychology behind why one procrastinates, and I find that very interesting.

  2. Nicole Thibodeaux

    Your title caught my eye as I was scrolling through the blog posts. I feel like I struggle with procrastination. All semester long I was doing fine and I was staying ahead of my work, then I got sick and I mean really sick. To the point, I was in the hospital because we worried about it being COVID 19. On top of all of that my kids needed me to be their teacher, my husband is gone and we don’t know when he will be able to come home (thanks COVID!) so all of my work gets pushed to the back burner. Like you said, if I don’t put my all into it can I really get upset if I don’t get a good grade?

  3. Jade Amber Butler

    Your title did exactly what is was supposed to, it caught my attention. I think you did a great job with this blog post. You’re right everyone procrastinates sometimes. I used to do it in high school more often than I do now. I have the same issue as you, I fear failure. In my mind, I thought if I procrastinate on this assignment, I cannot be upset if I get a bad grade because I did not put my all into it. This idea I planted in my head made me less afraid, but it did not help my problem fully. I am still afraid of failure, but I think online schooling has made me better with procrastination. I am able to set everything up in my own time frame. Thank you for sharing!

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