Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stop Procrastinating: Right NOW!

A very helpful article in, of all places, the Toronto Globe & Mail, on the student's vice of procrastination:

....15 to 20 per cent of us are procrastinators. The condition is even more prevalent among the student population, where a third of most students' days are eaten up by procrastinating, something he pointed out yesterday while students seated around him gabbed, surfed the Internet and slept in a lounge on campus.
"Usually when I have an assignment I put it off until later," confessed Robert Maxwell, an 18-year-old biology student as he was distracted from his textbook on plants.
"It's a bad habit."
Three major factors contribute to precisely that habit, according to Prof. Steel. Self-confidence is key. Those who believe they can, essentially, will and those who don't, won't. The value of the task is important in whether it gets done. Is it something to enjoy or dread? And finally, delay. When does the task need to be completed? It's hard to get motivated about something that can be put off until some distant deadline looms.
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Akshay said...

It's like an endless cycle. We know that putting it off is bad, but we still end up doing so. And then we pull all-nighters, fall asleep in class, regret putting it off and do it all over again. We are complex beings. We can't even understand ourselves sometimes.

Adam Nowek said...

Many would call blogging another form of procrastination. Mind you, those same people would probably call commenting on a blog yet another form of procrastination. It's a bit of an infinite loop, if you will.

Dr. Stephen Ogden said...

What about people who *respond* to comments on a blog ? ;--)

Emster said...

I definitely fall into that "15 to 20 per cent". For me, it seems that in order to complete a paper there must be at least one all-nighter involved.
I remember this one hell-week during first year where suddenly five papers were due in a single week and I ended up having to pull two all-nighters in a row. It was something like 60+ hours of nothing but school and no sleep. (Go to school, go home, start paper, finish and print paper, go back to school. Rinse. Repeat.) After a while, you start seeing things at the edge of your vision. I do not recommend it.
Procrastination can be productivity too, though. For example, my house is never cleaner than when I have some looming deadline staring me down.

Steve Zillwood said...

The G&M?!? Next thing you know, Maclean's will advocate clean air policies, or a pull-out from Afghanistan, or write a story about the West coast...