Procrastination is the habit of postponing doing things that needs to be done. It can also be defined as the act of avoiding doing certain things that ought to be done. This is a problem affecting most of my classmates especially when it comes to assignments.
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I have observed that most students tend to avoid doing assignments until the last minute and some are not even able to meet the deadline. It is normal to procrastinate (and most people do it) but excessive procrastination often leads to problems. People are left with guilt feelings when they are not able to accomplish a task at the right time.
This is not a problem that is only affecting learning institutions; it also affects employees in the work place. It is like an addiction and once you develop it, it becomes very hard to leave. In this paper I will address the problem of excessive procrastination, look at the reasons why students procrastinate and give recommendations. In doing this, I will use books and the internet to gather information about the problem that will help me in making recommendations on solving the problem.
I have reviewed different perspectives from different scholars and found that, excessive procrastination causes anxiety because the tasks being avoided must be done. It also results in poor performance because the assignments are done in a hurry when the student does not have ample time to research on the topic. If this problem is not addressed, it can interfere with individual’s school performance as well as their personal success.
Burka & Lenora (1983) observed that, one reason why students procrastinate is perfectionism. This is a situation where a student feels that, his/her standard of performance for a particular task is too high that it seems impossible to accomplish it. Other students fear to fail and lack confidence in accomplishing some tasks. They lack self confidence and believe that, they cannot be able to complete a given task successfully.
I have seen some students who get confused either before starting a task or along the way. They are not sure of what is required and how to go about it. Some tasks are generally difficult for a given group of students and no matter how hard a student works to complete it, he lack the skills needed.
Majority of the students in my class lack motivation in various subjects because they consider them too boring or difficult. This makes them lack interest in accomplishing a task in the respective field. Other reasons are poor concentration, unpleasantness, and lack of priorities.
One way to help such students is to involve them in cooperative learning. According to Orlich (a credited author in New York), et al (2009), Cooperative learning is a teaching approach where students study in groups or small teams made up of students with different levels of propensity.
They use different learning activities in order to proceed with their understanding of a precise subject. Each member is responsible for helping team members to learn as he/she learns from the others. Team members normally work on specific assignment until they are satisfied that all members are acquainted with it and are able to complete it.
The aim of cooperative learning is to help students gain from others; it helps students to realize that they share a common interest with others. From research, it is clear that, cooperative learning not only boosts student retention in schools; it also supports their academic achievement. It helps students to get better on their oral communication, promotes their self-esteem, and social skills (Vorse 2010). I will encourage my classmates to form cooperative learning teams so that we are all able to accomplish our tasks.
Excessive procrastination can be controlled through self motivation where a student understands that, there is no one who is perfect and time wasted is never recovered. Tasks should be prioritized in order of urgency and importance and once a task is started, it is always good for one to commit him/her self in its completion (Burka 1983).
Rewards are some of the ways that can boost self confidence and motivation. Once a task have been completed successfully, one should reward her/him self for the success. We all have different learning habits; some are able to perform well at the wee hours in the morning while others prefer to work late at night.
To avoid procrastination, an individual should work on tasks at the most convenient time. If the task is big, it should be broken down into small tasks that are easy to manage and to complete. Instead of failing to complete a task because it seems hard, it is advisable to seek guidance from the teachers or other classmates.
Every student should have a working schedule, set standards, and should work in areas that have little or no interference. The most important thing is to be proactive and to think positively. Once a person has started working on a task, he realizes that it becomes interesting and easy than he initially thought. This gives him the motivation to complete the task and feels satisfied once it is accomplished.
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Burka, J. B. & Lenora, M. Y (1983). Procrastination: Why you do it, what to do about it. London: Wesley Publication Co.
Orlich, D. C., et al (2009). Teaching Strategies: A Guide to Effective Instruction. New York: Cengage Learning.
Vorse, H. M. (2010). Procrastination. Retrieved from https://www.unc.edu/