Procrastination How to Beat the Clock!
Introduction • William Knaus, a psychologist, estimated that 90% of all college students procrastinate. • Of these students, 25% are chronic procrastinators and they are usually the ones who end up dropping out of college.
What is Procrastination? • Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. • This can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression and self-doubt. • It has a high potential for painful consequences and interferes with the academic and personal success of students.
2 Types of Procrastinators • The Relaxed Type • Much more common among college students • Often feels negatively toward work and blows it off by playing • Neglects school work but not socializing • Easily frustrated and self-indulgent • Base work ethic on feelings
2 Types of Procrastinators • The Tense-Afraid Type • Feels overwhelmed by pressures • Underlying fears are of failing, lacking ability, being imperfect and falling short of demands • Thinks that their worth is determined by what and how well they do things • Escapes pressures temporarily by trying to relax
Understanding Why • Both types dislike the chores they are avoiding. • We create our own misery by telling ourselves the task is really awful or unfair, or by setting impossible goals.
Common Diversions What do you use to distract yourself?
Common Diversions • Action Cop-outs • Mental Excuses • Emotional Diversions
Action Cop-Outs • Doing something that isn’t a priority • Once we are engrossed in the diversion, we block out the anxiety, anger or boredom associated with the work
Mental Excuses • “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Rewarding yourself for tasks that have yet to be done. • “It’s impossible to get an ‘A’ so why try.” This takes the responsibility off yourself and therefore excuses you of working for your goals.
Emotional Diversions • Drugs and alcohol, reading, listening to music, getting involved in friendships or relationships can serve as an escape form other important tasks. • Worry- a poor substitute for getting it done.
Group Time!! Learn how to help yourself…
Scenario 1 • It’s the beginning of the year and you have a research paper due in 2 months. You have no idea how to start or what your prof expects. • Identify your probable action cop-outs, mental excuses and emotional diversions for your type of procrastinator • Now that you know…how can you stop yourself? What is the first productive thing you could do?
How to Help? • Talk about what you have to do in a positive way. • Think realistically about the future- what you do now will always affect tomorrow • Remember: you are in control of your own education and future. • Often the first step is the hardest
Clarify Your Personal Goals • Articulate and write down your personal goals • Why are you here? • What do you want to accomplish during these 4 years? • Be specific (3.0 GPA, graduate with honors, play basketball for 4 years, apply for grad school). • Be sure that your actions and habits now will get you toward your goal • Basketball=2.0 GPA=Turning in today’s assignment=being in class today
Manage Your Time Effectively • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail • Establish a regular time each day to work toward your goal • Break your goal up into little parts • Start small and gradually • Don’t be discouraged by setbacks
Change Your Attitude • Avoid negative attitudes and beliefs about yourself and what you have to do • Replace them with positive ideas
Change Your Attitude • Remind yourself of the emotional and physical consequences of procrastination • Don’t think of it as “all or nothing.” • Pretend that you are well organized. How would that affect the way you think and behave? • Fake it ‘til you make it!
Change Your Behavior • Set up a contract with someone to keep you accountable. • Make a study appt. with a friend who has good study habits. • Use basic rewards and consequences • Do your assignments in order of worst to best
Scenario 2 • You have a test in Bib. Lit. in one week. The test includes a map, 2 essays and 50 multiple choice questions. You failed the first test and must do better on the second to pass the class. • Identify some different action cop-outs, mental excuses and emotional diversions common to your type of procrastinator • Now that you know…how can you stop yourself? What is the first thing you could do to prevent procrastinating?
Accept Yourself • Give yourself time to change • Expect and forgive backsliding • Give yourself credit for anything you do • Forgive yourself a lot
Procrastinating I must…I have to I have to finish this assignment I have no time to play. I can’t succeed. Productive I’d like to… choose to When can I get started? It is important to play one hour. I have a better chance of succeeding if I... Change Procrastinating Thinking