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Procrastination rarely gets the respect that it deserves. When psychologists address procastinating at all, it is often with a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour. While everybody procrastinates at some point, our justification for it usually fails to fool anyone (including ourselves).
Most dictionaries define procrastination as “To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.” Occurring up to 25 percent of the time according to some research studies, procrastination is considerably higher in students with over 70 percent reporting procrastination for assignments at some point. Procrastinating students can waste up to a third of their day with stalling activities such as sleeping, watching television, reading, or whatever other diversion they can devise. Though men seem more likely to procrastinate than women and the habit of putting things off becomes less common as we grow older, procrastination can be seen in people of all ages.
But is procrastinating necessarily a bad thing? While research studies have linked it to various negative consequences including medical, academic, and financial problems, the question of why procrastinating can be so seductive is hard to answer. Despite more than forty years of research looking at procrastination, there still seems to be little agreement among researchers in different fields about what procrastination is and how it should be dealt with.
To read more, check out my Psychology Today blog post.
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