As high school senior, I’ve seen and performed my fair share of procrastination throughout high school. Sometimes it’s little assignments, sometimes it’s a paper that decides your grade for the quarter, either way it’s not uncommon to be up until 3:00 in the morning the night before it’s due, doing things that you should’ve been doing days or even weeks ago. Among my peers procrastination is practically accepted, the people who do things on a reasonable schedule are harder to find than those who grind out hours of homework at the last second. So as a self-induced victim of procrastination, why do we do this to ourselves?
The obvious reason for procrastination comes from the simple fact that school work isn’t necessarily appealing, especially when there’s any number of more satisfying things you could be doing at home. A 2016 Washington Post article would also link this to a lack of self control, similar to those that cause overeating or overspending problems. However, they also would support that it’s a deeper issue than what it may seem, in that many high achieving students still procrastinate. Procrastination can also be considered a behavior developed through desire to avoid certain tasks, due to surrounding anxiety or fear. For students this can be a result of not understanding a topic, or being of a mind that not trying and failing is better than trying your hardest and failing. A combination of many different factors ultimately produces students who get by putting things off until the last seconds, for better or for worse.
An article from Oxford Learning focuses on preventing procrastination in younger students from a parent’s perspective, but many of their tips would also benefit older students. They say that procrastination can come from any number of things, and identifying that is the first step into solving the problem, but general organizational and time allocation strategies can make a huge impact on overall productivity. Despite all the resources available to students on how to overcome procrastination, a surprising number of students still succumb to it.
I’d like to know if this is a relatively new or growing issue for today’s students. Has procrastination always been so common or are the growing distractions of today leading into lower productivity? What in schools today does combat procrastination and lead students into more efficient usage of time? When do these habits begin to form?