Why Do Students Procrastinate?

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You will be hard-pressed to find someone who claims to have never procrastinated on anything in their life. Since so many people procrastinate, it is a common issue that people have to work their way through during their time in school, but taking the time to work on overcoming the urge to procrastinate can be super helpful in real life, so it is worth it to take the time to work on it. In this article, we’ll be talking about why students tend to procrastinate as well as offering some helpful tips and tricks to minimize the chance that you procrastinate.

What is Procrastination in Students? What is Procrastination in Students?

Procrastination is putting something, most likely an assignment, off until the last minute. This can mean that students put off starting the assignment, put off finishing the assignment, or just drag out the assignment so it takes much longer than it should have taken them. Procrastination tends to cause students to have lower grades and can lead students to have low self-esteem.

Some students choose to procrastinate, thinking that they’ll have more time or motivation later, but other students unintentionally procrastinate. Understanding why you procrastinate is a great way to start to figure out how bad your potential procrastination problem really is.

What is the Main Cause of Procrastination?

What is the Main Cause of Procrastination?

There is no one leading cause of procrastination since every student has a different life and likely has different reasons for procrastination. There are some common reasons why students might start procrastinating, which we’ll discuss more in the next section.

One of the biggest problems with procrastinating is that once a student has started procrastinating, it can be challenging for them to stop procrastinating. Generally, if a student puts a significant project or assignment off until the last minute, they have now started using time for that assignment that they should be using for the next assignment. In this way, procrastination can have a multiplicative effect, meaning that one day of procrastinating will likely lead to more.

If you find this happening to you, there are a few things that you can do. The first step you should take is figuring out why you started this chain of procrastination in the first place. If you can’t figure out why you started procrastinating, you will likely be a repeat procrastinator and are likely to end up in this situation again.

Next, you’ll need to work with your teachers and parents to get caught up on the work that you have outstanding at the moment. While it may have seemed easy to procrastinate at first, once you have a pile of work to do and less time to do it, procrastination doesn’t seem like the best idea anymore.

5 Reasons Why Students Procrastinate

5 Reasons Why Students Procrastinate

Although there are many reasons why students procrastinate, these are a few of the more major reasons why they may feel like they can or should procrastinate.

Overwhelmed or not enough time

If students feel like they have too much on their plate or that they don’t have enough time to dedicate to an assignment, they may end up procrastinating starting the assignment. This can happen if they have too many school assignments at once, if they have too many responsibilities at home, or if they have to keep a job and finish school, among other reasons. Providing support for students, regardless of why they feel overwhelmed, is a great way to help them get over procrastination.

Deadlines not enforced

Once teachers have established that deadlines don’t mean much in their classroom, it’s really hard to go back. If teachers have set the precedent that you can turn in assignments late and not have any penalties, students may start to feel little to no motivation to start assignments until they feel like it since they know it won’t affect their grade. This can also cause students to develop bad habits that may affect their grades in other classes where deadlines are being enforced.

No space to do the work

If a student feels cramped or like they don’t have any space to do the work assigned, they may opt to wait until they find a space to even begin. This can lead to students not starting assignments until the last minute, but it is easy to remedy. By making sure that students have enough space to do their work, parents can eliminate this as a cause of procrastination.

Feeling like it’s not worth it to try

When students doubt their own abilities, they tend to lose the motivation to even try. Making sure that every student feels like they are rewarded when they put in the effort for an assignment is a great way to help students feel like their effort is worth it. Keeping a student’s self-esteem high can be a challenge, but it can really help with limiting a student’s procrastination.

Fear of failure

Students who strive for perfection and accept nothing less than perfection often fear failure over time. This fear of failure can be debilitating and sometimes prevent them from even starting a project or assignment if they think they won’t be able to do it well enough for their standards. While this pressure can come from the student themself, it often comes from the student’s parents.

What are the Effects of Procrastination in Students?

What are the Effects of Procrastination in Students?

Procrastination affects people differently, but it generally has a negative impact on student’s lives and grades. A few of the most significant and most common implications of procrastination on students are lower grades and always feeling stressed. These are super common disadvantages of procrastination and can lead to more issues down the line.

Studies have found that students who procrastinate frequently are likely to have lower grades by about half a letter grade. That doesn’t seem like much, but when you think about the difference between getting an A- and a B+, it starts to seem like more of a difference. Since most students have reported procrastinating at some point in their school career, with about half of students reporting to be regular procrastinators, procrastination can have some pretty major impacts on students as a whole.

How to Overcome Procrastination in Students?

How to Overcome Procrastination in Students?

Overcoming procrastination in students can be challenging, but it is possible. The easiest way to overcome procrastination is to start the school year off with a full toolbox of tools to use to help keep yourself on top of your work. Even if you procrastinated a lot the year before, starting off a new year without procrastinating is the best course of action. It’s always easier to prevent procrastination from starting than it is to catch up with procrastination once it has started.

If you are part way through a year and are well into your procrastination chaos, it will be harder for you to get out of it, but it is doable. Start by making a plan for you to stick to. This will make it easier for you to plan out your time and get the work done.

Since you’ve likely been procrastinating for a while, you may find that you have a lot of work to catch up on. At this point, you will need to start prioritizing the work that you have to get done so you can start by working on the most pressing issues. You may want to talk to your teachers and see if they have any suggestions for you or would be willing to work with you to help you get through your workload.

Once you’ve caught up on the work that you’ve been procrastinating, you will need to stay on top of your work, so you don’t end up in the same position again. We recommend that you create a study schedule and start to develop and stick to some good study habits. This will help you minimize the chance of you procrastinating again, but it will also help you learn to study more efficiently.

You can do if you think you are likely to start procrastinating again to talk to your teachers and see if they would be willing to have frequent check-ins with you. These could be times that they will be expecting to see a certain amount of a long-term project done by or it could be times that they talk to you to help hold you accountable for the work you should be getting done. Sometimes getting over procrastination can take some help, but that’s ok.

5 Productivity Tips for Students

5 Productivity Tips for Students

Once you have caught up on your work and are ready to prevent falling back into the habit of procrastination, you will need to start to develop some skills to help keep you on top of your work. Once you start procrastinating and falling behind, it can be really challenging to catch back up, so preventing procrastination in the first place is the best thing to do. Here are some great tips to help students overcome procrastination and avoid it from happening again.

Develop good study skills

Developing good study skills takes time, but if a student feels like they have all the necessary skills and resources to tackle an assignment or project, they are less likely to put it off and procrastinate starting the assignment. Good study skills look different to each student, but working with your school and parents are a great place to start looking to develop your own set of study skills.

Create a written plan for an assignment

Having a written plan of when you will start the assignment and how far through the assignment, you will be by a certain date is a great way to help motivate yourself to start working on the assignment. Creating a plan that works for you and sticking to it is vital when it comes to finding the motivation to study and can even help you develop those good study skills we talked about in tip one.

If you need some help creating a study schedule to help you map out the time you will spend working on an assignment, please check out our article on creating a study schedule.

Hold yourself accountable

Hold yourself accountable and stick to the schedule or plan that you have created. Some people are able to hold themselves accountable, but others might find it more helpful to have a different person that they can report their progress to. This could be a parent, teacher, or even a friend. Just someone who can ask you if you have done the work you said you were going to do by the date you said you would have it done.

Have a dedicated study space

Giving yourself the space to study and keeping it separate from your relaxation space is a great way to start developing good study habits. Try to avoid studying on the couch or in your bed instead of studying at a desk or table. If you have a place that you can always leave set up to study, that’s ideal, but if you don’t have a space that you can spare for that purpose, try keeping all your study materials in a box near your kitchen table or wherever you plan on working.

Work on time management

Time management is a fantastic skill that will help you throughout your whole life, but it is also a skill that tons of adults struggle with. Practicing good time management when you are in school can help you immensely once you finish school. Time management doesn’t mean just planning your studying, but it also includes leaving time for leisure and relaxation.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Stop Procrastinating on Your Homework

Procrastination can feel overwhelming, but we hope that we’ve given you the tools to start working through the urge to procrastinate. Understanding the common reasons why you might begin procrastinating is a great place to start, but making a plan to not let yourself procrastinate and sticking to your plan is the best way to minimize your procrastination. Don’t let procrastination run your life.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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