Sometimes the feeling of putting off things that are unpleasant like writing an essay or finishing your homework is just too strong to resist. Even though you clearly know that you have to finish it eventually, you still do not want to do it NOW. Procrastination impacts all of us in various degrees, however, people seldom know why we procrastinate and how we can avoid it.
Some social psychology researchers describe procrastination as a failure of mood regulation. We want a short-term good feeling even though we are pretty sure it’s going to come back and put pressure on you later. In other words, procrastinate is our attempt to avoid bad feelings like the stress and boredom of the task itself. Here is an example to help us rationalize this concept: You probably do not want to write a big English essay when you are tired, so you tell yourself you’ll do it after you get some rest. It’s pretty reasonable, isn’t it? You should realize that you are giving yourself small excuses habitually in order to put off the task and push away the bad feelings. However, you in the future will finally confront that stress and bad feelings. It is important for us to regulate our mood and recognize the stress and bad feelings will not just disappear later if we do not accept them.
There is lots of study and research on procrastination, there is certainly a lot of suggestions on how to beat it. I will just list some advice on how to beat academic procrastination, basically, putting off school assignments until the time near the due date.
- When you get a big project, you can try to break it up into small chunks. For instance, you can plan ahead of time and do a little piece each time. It is much easier to get started and the task will not be intimidating and stressful to you.
- Realizing that getting things done is the only way you can get rid of your stress. The stress of your assignments will not decrease or disappear if you do not get started, on the contrary, you will just have more work to do in the future.
- Understanding the future – you is also you! Similar to the second idea, you can do it sooner or later but the only difference is how much work you will leave behind for the future-you to finish.
Procrastinate now and panic later.
In summary, the mood regulation is the key to help us avoid procrastination. It might sound easy to change, but it isn’t always easy. If you are reading this blog and want to procrastinate working on something, you should go and GET STARTED!
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