A. You can often find articles and books addressing the problem of procrastination. If you don’t know this word, you might think it was a terrible disease. In reality, procrastination can be defined as a bad habit of doing something less important in order to avoid doing something more important. People procrastinate in many different areas, but we will focus on procrastinating at school, where it is a frequent problem.
B. Procrastination at school can lead to poor grades, low test scores, and finally not getting into a good university. Another negative result of procrastination is the stress of waiting to the last minute to do something. This can lead to staying up all night to prepare for a test. Also, the constant stress of having something hanging over your head, being scolded and criticized by teachers and parents can lead to feelings of guilt and worthlessness.
C. Usually it is very obvious when somebody is procrastinating, for example, playing video games instead of doing homework. Sometimes, however, it can be less obvious. Sharpening your pencils and cleaning your desk may fool some people into thinking you are working hard, but can also be forms of procrastination. Some pupils are even able to fool themselves into thinking they are working, when they are just trying to avoid real work.
D. It is not always clear why people procrastinate. Some are just lazy or don’t have enough willpower, but there may be other reasons, perfectionism for one. Some people are afraid that they will be judged by others as failures if their work is less than perfect. For example, a pupil may fear the judgment of parents and teachers on a school report. According to psychologists, this fear of failure may be a cause of procrastination.
E. Although it is difficult, there are ways to stop procrastinating. One way of doing it is to find out why you are procrastinating and deal with those problems. If you are a perfectionist, try to do the task quickly and not worry about it being perfect. Another solution, especially when the task seems too big, is to break it into smaller steps and do those one by one. This may lessen the desire to procrastinate.
F. Still, procrastinating can be a good thing. For those who spend much more time working on a project than is necessary, waiting until the last minute can be a more economical use of time. Also, some people while procrastinating do things that are creative or useful in other ways. Finally, a certain amount of procrastination is part of human nature. Feeling guilty about it can be worse and more damaging than the procrastination itself.
G. Procrastination is also a popular subject of laughter in films and TV shows and there are many coffee mugs, cartoons, and notebooks covered with jokes about it. Though many people consider it a serious psychological problem and even view it as a kind of disease, others laugh about it and are even proud to be procrastinators