Sunday, May 26, 2024

Srinivas Column :Procrastination hinders academic success!

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Procrastination can be a serious deterrent to students because delay in completion of academic tasks lead to falling behind in acute competitive race. Today’s technology enables us to procrastinate in finishing important tasks with the constant stream of distractions from the internet and social media. Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute. It means differing something until tomorrow. Procrastination in simple words in psychology- it is a tendency to postpone important tasks for later, being distracted by less significant actions. This habit is called as “Tomorrow Syndrome.

“Habitual procrastination can have a negative effect on students’ academic performance, grades, and even their overall health. Students, who procrastinate, experience higher levels of frustration, guilt, stress, and anxiety.

According to academic experts, students most often procrastinate because they do not consider the relevance of the future career. Some researchers define procrastination as a “form of self-regulation failure characterised by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences. A 2007 meta-analysis published in the Psychological Bulletin found that a whopping 80% to 95% of college students procrastinated on a regular basis, particularly when it came to completing assignments and coursework.

Academic procrastination is a pervasive problem for a large number of students across the globe. It is the tendency to postpone or delay in performing a task and no single factor can be found responsible for academic procrastination. Many students get trapped in the cycle of “Someday, I’ll organize my notes,” the truth is “someday” will never come. Most students delay class assignments and academic tasks for various reasons such as fear of criticism, anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of interest etc. Hence, they are highly abortive such as poor academic exuberance, unimpressive presentation, and negative effect on personal life and reduced achievements. Professor Tim Pychyl, a psychologist at Carleton University in Canada who studies the phenomenon of “procrastination,” calls it “the crucial problem of modern education.” Academic procrastination is a problem behaviour with negative consequences for students. When students are confused by an assignment, or do not know exactly what is expected of them, they often put off the assignment in hope that they will understand it better later. Researchers found that students who procrastinate initially feel relaxed and lower stress levels, but the stress increases rapidly with delay in time. Procrastination is a comfort, a defence mechanism at the beginning of the term but it causes more stress at the end of the academic term.

Research findings reveal that academic stress is very less among non-procrastinators. “Procrastination is extremely prevalent,” Piers Steel, a business professor at the University of Calgary, noted in a 2007 study. “Estimates indicate that 80 to 95 percent of college students engage in procrastination, approximately 75 percent consider themselves procrastinators, and almost 50 percent procrastinate consistently and problematically. “Fear of failure is one of the significant reasons for postponement. So, they feel that temporary delay in execution of tasks is safe to avoid censure. Procrastination may lead to depression, feelings of hopelessness, and a lack of energy and eventually make it difficult to finish the simplest task. Most students feel difficult to prioritise academic tasks as they perceive the assignment is unimportant that leads to procrastination.

To overcome procrastination time management techniques and tools are indispensable.  There are some time management techniques for students that are well-suited to overcome procrastination. Prioritising work and assignments help avoid procrastination.

Every week make a list of tasks to be completed. Finish the most important and urgent assignment to lessen anxiety and tension. It is important to set a specific date for a project or assignment to be completed. It is important to set a specific date to accomplish goals. Aim to finish projects and assignments one or two days in advance because if something unexpected happens, still have extra time to complete them. Set priorities and have penchant for academics. Use time wisely, do not let sloth hinder progress. So, inculcating abstinence from procrastination leads to propel in career.

(The writer is Assistant Professor  Department of Commerce PB Siddhartha College of Arts & Science, Vijayawada)

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