Procrastination: Habit or Disorder?

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Procrastination: Habit or Disorder? "Procrastination is 'the art of keeping up with yesterday and avoiding today.' " - Wayne Dyer (6) Universally common to college students, procrastination is often addressed as a bad habit. Yet, in most cases, this isn't a nuance, but a perpetual occurrence - no longer qualifying for the term "habit." Typically thought of as a behavioral trait, procrastination thrives on a cycle of blame shifting and avoidance. Falling victim to this "habit" myself, I embarked on a mission to seek out the causes of procrastination. The results of my findings, were debates over whether procrastination is in fact biological or psychological. Convincing evidence exists for both perspectives, which attempt to resolve the mysterious question - why do college students and people of all ages, alike, procrastinate? Today's technologically dependent society can opt for hyperefficiency, yet mindless procrastination continues, often manifested through electronics(3). Furthermore, an online survey by The Procrastination Research Group posed the question, "To what extent is procrastination having a negative impact on your happiness?" of the 2,700 responses: 46% said "quite a bit" or "very much" and 18% claimed "extreme negative effect"(3). The dismal results speak to a common problem of procrastination. The traits of procrastination are obvious, more interesting are the traits of the procrastinator. Chronic procrastinators avoid revealing information about their abilities, prefer menial tasks, make poor time estimates, tend to focus on the past and do not act on their intentions. These characteristics have been related to low self-esteem, perfectionism, non-competitiveness, self-deception, self-control, self-con... ... middle of paper ... Procrastination is a strong act of agency supported by the I-function. The neurobiological perspective of PFC stripped procrastination of any elements of agency. While eradicating procrastination will never occur on a universal level, I have hopefully removed the myth surrounding the ever-common act and in effect may even encourage a student or two to start studying earlier. Reference This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated. Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

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