Why Do People Procrastinate?

We’ve all been there. Knowing an assignment isn’t due for another few weeks, and although we could get it done and out of the way before hand, we decide to wait till the last minute to really stress ourselves out. But why do we do that? Why put ourselves through the stress of cramming work in when we could’ve just done it when assigned? It’s been a problem people have always struggled with. So my question was is it due to just pure laziness or is there something psychological that causes procrastination in people?

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In this article, a study is described of students who are broken into two groups and one group is told they will do a mathematical puzzle at the end of the their time and the other group would do a fun puzzle. While they waited, both groups were offered to either practice for the puzzle or just play games. The group of students who were considered procrastinators chose not to practice for the mathematical puzzle. This lead the scientists to believe that procrastinators choose to put off work when it is important so if they fail it is because they didn’t try hard enough, not because they weren’t smart enough. Scientists believe it could be a type of coping mechanism to excuse a bad grade to make ourselves feel less stupid. Also in that article, it mentions how people who procrastinate are more likely do to worse on their assignments and suffer more stress and illness.

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Similarly, in this article it states several different excuses procrastinators might use for reasons to not immediately get done their work. Specifically in point three it discusses how the excuse of not being able to perform well and because of that mind set someone puts off their work.

Overall, a big part of people possibly being a procrastinator could be because they feel they aren’t adequate enough to get a good grade so they put it off and are able to use the excuse of not putting in effort. This doesn’t mean to say that laziness can’t contribute to people procrastinating, some people are just genuinely not interested in work and decide to wait till the last moments to actually do work.

 

1 thought on “Why Do People Procrastinate?

  1. Akhil Dharmavaram

    Most people think of procrastination and see it as a negative thing, which is what I thought too. I actually did some research (not too much, truthfully) and found quite a few claims that procrastination in some cases can be beneficial. This kind of procrastination is not the type of procrastination that we usually think of, the kind where instead of working you are sitting around doing nothing. This type of procrastination is “active” procrastination where you are doing something else ore valuable than your other work. The article talks further about how certain types of procrastination is used in all sorts of different fields. You might find this interesting.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-procrastination-is-good-for-you-2102008/

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