Negative effects of procrastination and how to overcome them


By Zoe Levin

Many high schoolers suffer from chronic procrastination. These students cannot complete necessary tasks and feel serious stress. Procrastinating in high school causes anxiety and drops in success, which can lead to long term problems.

High school students procrastinate for very different reasons than in middle school.

Teenagers who plan on applying to college feel a new burden upon entering high school. Suddenly, their schoolwork is more important and directly affects their future. Many students reason that if they procrastinate schoolwork, they can blame their lack of attentiveness and not their lack of skill.

Procrastination causes many problems for high school students. An obvious result of continued procrastination is a drop in grades and a decline in school success. Students who do not fully complete assignments and put off crucial studying receive poorer grades.

Procrastination also causes heightened stress. High schoolers have a heavy workload and often a busy schedule. Students who let work pile up feel the accumulation of difficult duties on their shoulders. Putting off work also constantly lowers students’ self esteem. Procrastinators may feel they simply cannot do the task at hand and feel insecure about their ability to perform.

Psychology Today interviewed college students who claimed to consistently procrastinate in order to find long term effects of procrastination. The website’s study found that students who procrastinate caught more colds and flus, and had gastrointestinal problems. The majority of these students also had insomnia.

In addition to causing health problems, procrastination causes general unhappiness. The Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Canada conducted an online survey to determine the effect of procrastination on happiness.

The results concluded that procrastination does have a negative effect on happiness. They received 2,700 responses to the question, “To what extent is procrastination having a negative impact on your happiness?” 46 percent responded “quite a bit” or “very much,” and 18 percent reported an “extreme negative effect.”

Procrastination has many negative effects, but luckily there is a simple solution that makes work easier: change your mindset.

Some things are not optional and have to be done — in high school and in life — so look at work positively. Take into account any feelings of resistance towards your duties, and push them away.

It’s okay to feel stressed, or like you cannot do what you need. However, you can trick your mind into being excited about work. Remind yourself of the completely satisfying feeling of completion. Assignments do not disappear, but mindful motivation will push you through the most tedious tasks.

High schoolers often feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but hard work really does pay off. Stay positive and do not distress. If completing tasks starts to feel rewarding, procrastination will not persist.

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