21Dec2018

PROCRASTINATION – THE GREATEST ENEMY OF STUDENTS – Favour (NIGERIA)

If you think you have never procrastinated a day in your life, it would probably be in your best interest to part ways with this post here at this point. However, if you have somehow miraculously never done so and are curious to know about the essence of my write-up, you are welcomed to stick around! What is procrastination and why do students procrastinate? My blog post is not intended to pick on students, or imply that procrastination should not occur, but it makes sense to shed some light on this condition which tends to kick in now and then for me, despite my staunch commitments to my studies.

WHAT IS PROCRASTINATION?

This simple yet dangerous thing is the action of delaying or postponing something that requires immediate attention. This could be because what needs to be done is unpleasant or boring, or possibly because you are occupied with being little more than a sweet potato in terms of energy and diligence, and thus simply cannot be bothered with commitments at the time? I think of procrastination as a scale, with a 0 being steadfast commitment to work, and a 10 leading to little to nothing getting done. As far as I am concerned, I am currently a 2 out of 10 on this scale, and hope that I don’t that become a 3, especially when finals are due!

SO WHY DO STUDENTS PROCRASTINATE?

As I sit before my laptop now, I have procrastinated at least four other times on getting started with writing this post. Yes, I was counting, and in my defense, have you seen the weather in Estonia? Consequently, from my non-scientific and personal point of view, probable reasons as to why we procrastinate as students exist.

Students (like you and I), often procrastinate because we sometimes do not see the relevance of a project or thing at the time, or we say to our self that we have all the time left in the world, or we cannot place our head around understanding a given academic material, and do not know where to possibly start from. #Relatable?

Most of the time, procrastination has little to do with laziness or not having concerns, but the lazy-factor should not be dismissed entirely. For students, the lazy-factor descends with its kind presence once in a while, presenting a formidable force when united with its staunch ally, procrastination. 

Continuing this metaphor, some causes of procrastination could include:

– A lack of motivation
– Fear of failure
– Brain cells for comprehension are already on vacation
– A general inability to concentrate
– Perfectionism, which should be a good thing, but consequently leaves you lacking or nowhere in your projects or assignments
– Poor organization skills, simply having too much on your plate and not knowing how to manage this and where to start from
– Other personal reasons stemming from emotions, life events, sometimes low self-confidence, and too many others to count.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF PROCRASTINATION ON STUDENT SAND SCHOOLWORK?

Procrastination can affect students so badly that it could have dire costs on academic grades (you might be a cat with nine lives or just gotten lucky in the past, this is bound to happen to you after the umpteenth time). The overall health of students can be affected as well, with such students experiencing incredible levels of guilt, frustration, anxiety and stress –consequently leading to extremely low self-esteem and depression, in mostcases

As a disclaimer, there are individuals who do not just give a flying hoot. I honestly worry about such students, but I must confess that they are to be envied somehow, and seldom the virtuous/hard working student in me makes way to an alter-ego that aspires to such levels.

HOW CAN YOU LEARN TO STOP PROCRASTINATING?

I might not be the most qualified procrastinator, because I do not experience it very often, but I can say that it helps to break academic projects into smaller tasks. Taking larger projects step by step until they are completed can be very helpful since some big tasks can sometimes be overwhelming.  Finding a way to make the assignment feel more meaningful to you can also lead to positive results (I do not have the magic formula for this either, in case you were wondering!), as can creating a proper study space wherein you can dedicate all of your time and energy to working.

One tip for more effective studying, do not make the mistake of reading in places such as your bed, which your brain has associated with sleeping, it is more likely to not create a conducive study space. If it works for you, nonetheless, fine, go for it! Eat healthily have a healthy hobby and sleep adequately; set clearer and realistic goals for yourself, and do not wait for the stars to align in perfection before you give it a shot; prepare a feasible plan for your projects and try to stick with it. You might not succeed the first time, but you can keep trying. And lastly, learn to seek assistance when you need the extra boost, and have a chat with a friend should the need arise.

You are possibly already worn out by now if you have made it this far into the post. So, to conclude, stop procrastinating and just do what you can. If you are a student, and procrastination permeates various spheres of your life outside of academics, I will be praying for you. Keep my advice in mind and keep working, it’ll be better in the end, I promise!