Whether you are a recent high school grad or a full-time employee and mother of three, procrastination has no reserve. We’ve all been there - last minute discussion board, project or essay deep into the night. Here are three reasons we procrastinate along with some helpful tips:
Fear of Failure
We often retrain ourselves from taking action because we fear failure: failure to do well on an essay, failure to articulate a position on a discussion board, failure to pass a class. How can we get past this? Acknowledge failure and understand it is not the end of the world. To this point, John Wooden (Former UCLA Basketball Head Coach) is coined to have said, “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”
If you are a perfectionist, you see tasks as greater and more time consuming than most people. This point also ties back into Fear of Failure in that you may not want to try something new because you haven’t done it in the past (such as starting a new course or program). Get past perfectionism by aiming to do your best and accepting the output. I’ll let you in a little secret: there is no such thing as perfection. Kim Collins, the 2003 World Champion in the 100 m, said, “Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.”
If you are an individual that takes on a lot and hardly takes the time to rest, you are setting yourself up for procrastination. If we look back at some of the moments we’ve experienced procrastination, how many of them are from lack of energy? Personally speaking, one too many. Author Bryant McGill is quoted to have said, “Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So, relax.” Reduce procrastination due to lack of energy by making sure you rest. Schedule breaks often between assignments, work, tasks, and projects.
Take courage in St. Paul’s words to the Galatians
and “let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Here are some valuable articles and resources that can help manage procrastination.
Self-Deception by Means of Procrastination - Biola University
Managing Procrastination - Oregon State University
Procrastination in Online Courses: Performance and Attitudinal Differences - University of Dayton
Want to learn a bit more about the resources available to you? Take a look at our other blog posts.