Defeating Procrastination - Part 1: Information and Bibliography

The desired outcome in habits to defeat procrastination is, well, to defeat procrastination. Procrastination is often a serious obstruction on the path to achieving one's goals, and it is a roadblock which we seek to overcome.

First off, what exactly IS Procrastination? This definition kindly provided by Mr. Watson will tell us.



What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of putting off essential tasks until a later time. Doing non-essential tasks instead of the more critical ones. Although this procrastination definition seems pretty simple the effects of procrastination are not. Procrastination may be one of the biggest challenges you will be faced with in your life and can destroy productivity.
http://www.stopprocrastinatinginfo.com/
Explaining Procrastination:
Reasons for which many people seek to procrastinate is because they seek to put off whatever work that is ahead of them, as the task may seem to be a rather daunting prospect. Thus procrastination is chosen as the ideal way to avoid stress and exerting effort that is involved in the task, at least in the short term. The conscience is then assuaged by the procrastinator telling him/herself that 'I'll do it later', which then is persuaded to think that the individual is not avoiding work as such, but merely giving him/herself some time he/she gets started working on it. That is the basic thought process behind procrastination.
However, more often than not, the task at hand is given a substantial amount of time before it is started. It should come as no surprise that procrastinators often find themselves severely short of time as the deadline for the completion of the task looms. The philosophy of 'just 5 more minutes' is a crucial part of procrastination, as the individual decides to keep putting off the task and avoid the work. When the time left to complete the task becomes severely limited, procrastinators tend to fly off into a panic and try to get something relatively coherent done, which is most often obviously rushed and of abominable quality. (If handwritten, would likely be of atrocious penmanship) When the time comes for the completed task to be handed in, that individual would have to expect an equivalent grade for his/her masterful display of effective time management and effort. This is the main reason why procrastination should be a practice best abandoned. Another reason is that procrastination can lead to severe stress and exhaustion, as all the work that the individual has been putting off comes back to haunt them right when they squeeze all that work into a short time period, and all that accumulated stress and work piles up and they lose sleep and wellness of body and mind.

That said, it must also be mentioned that procrastination, if the outcome as stated above does not occur, is not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, it might reveal a lack of commitment and laziness, but it can be a good thing as well. There are certain types of people who work best under pressure, and procrastination may provide them with that required pressure. However, even for these types of people, there is a certain element of risk involved. Even for people who work best under pressure, the work might not be completed in time for the deadline to be reached. This is why procrastination, as a general rule ,should be avoided. However, seeing as the title of this essay is 'Defeating Procrastination', the following tips and advice shall be offered on the premise that the reader has already encountered the problem of procrastination while studying or attempting to complete an assignment.

Tips on How to Avoid Procrastination:

1) Procrastination is a mental means of self-deception; that you can somehow manage to finish all your work 'sometime later'. Therefore you must likewise resign yourself to them fact that this is reality and that doing it on the morning registration of the day the assignment is due will not result in an A* grade. Remember that your effort will always be reflected in your results.

2) If you are unable to resign yourself to the eventual result of procrastination, you can always use your imagination to think what will happen if you continue your procrastination. Apocalyptic visions usually work for me. Of course, you can use something much less drastic, such as getting an 'F' grade. (In my opinion, there is no distinction between the two.)


The fruits of Procrastination
The fruits of Procrastination
From http://actingschmacting.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/procrastination.jpg
From http://actingschmacting.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/procrastination.jpg



3) If you prefer a more positive means of avoiding procrastination, you may choose to utilise self-encouragement as the means for it. Thoughts such as 'I can finish this right this moment' can lead to the potential Procrastinator from not putting everything off till the last minute. Other such thoughts include:*

'If I do this now, I won't have to do it later!'
'It's either now or never'
'If not now, when?'
Be positive about doing work!
Be positive about doing work!
Working productively
Working productively

*Of course, they do sound cheesy and silly, but there is a grim reality behind those words.

The Desired Outcome:

When the individual has successfully avoided procrastination in the course of his/her work. the expected outcome will be as follows:*

1) Firstly, you finished your work, yay!
2) Secondly, you finished it to a degree of high quality and will score a high mark! =)
3) Thirdly, you now have free time to spare, without having to worry about work! =) x2
4) Lastly, (which perhaps I should have said first) you get to laugh at all the people who are rushing their work in a panic and getting an F due to their procrastination!! =D

*LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This is by no means guaranteed in the case of the individual being normally unintelligent and *ahem* screwing everything up. This website will not be held responsible for any undesirable outcomes caused by following the advice on this page. Thank you for your time and have a nice day. =)


Written by,
Xing Jun Ng, Y11A



Bibliography

Just Megawatt. 16 November 2009
<http://justmegawatt.com/img/Procrastination.jpg>
Discovery Education. 16 November 2009 <http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/images/homewrk.gif >
Aquidneck Mom's Town. 16 November 2009 <http://www.aquidneckmomstown.com/custom/girlDoingHomework.jpg>
Acting Schmacting. 16 November 2009 <http://actingschmacting.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/procrastination.jpg>
Stop Procrastination Info. 16 November 2009
<
http://www.stopprocrastinatinginfo.com/>

Part 3 - Plan

In Part 1, I shall write about:

What is procrastination?
Why do people procrastinate?
Why is procrastination bad?
How we can prevent procrastination. (Tips and Advice)
The desired outcome if procrastination is successfully avoided.

In Part 2, I shall write:

Helpful comments and provide constructive criticism for the pages of others.
My own personal opinion on the subject matter at hand.

I shall use the time given to complete the assignment to a consistently high level of quality and avoid procrastination while working on the task.

Time-line for Assignment Completion:


Time-line

By Mon 2nd Nov I will - Research topics, select a topic and find good websites.
By Mon 9th Nov I will - Create a Plan (Part 3)
By Mon 16th Nov I will - Work on Part 1
By Mon 23rd Nov I will - Work on Part 1
By Mon 30th Nov I will - Work on and finish Part 2 (Contributions)
By Mon 7th Dec I will - Work on and finish Part 1
By Mon 14th Dec I will - Relax because everything is finished!


Seven Principles for setting Goals

Desire - I will create an excellent page that is helpful to others and is presentable
Written - All writing will be in my own words, will be coherent and clearly understandable.
Plan to deal with resistance - Possible obstacles include - Computer problems, can't find good information and time management.
Deadline - December 14th
Planning - I have created a plan for what I shall do. The time-line includes when I shall do it.
Mental Picture - I want my site to look professional.
Persistence - I will work hard during class time and, if needed, will spend extra time on my page at home.

SMART Goals

Specific - Well defined. Clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project. YES
Measurable - Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is. Know when it has been achieved. YES
Agreed Upon - Agreement with all the stakeholders what the goals should be. YES
Realistic - Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time. YES
Time Based - Enough time to achieve the goal. Not too much time, which can affect project performance. YES

*I have met all the SMART Goals requirements for proceeding with my assignment.