You are here:  Home » Procrastination » Procrastination and The Four Steps

Category: Procrastination

58 Responses so far.

  1. Peace&Love says:

    The strategies discussed above may soon be implemented into my daily life. I am a procrastinator on some occasions. I procrastinate when it comes to completing my school work. Most of the time, I procrastinate on my assignments because I am usually given them ahead of time so I never really feel the need to do them right away.The problem arises when I lose track of time and end up rushing an assignment because I was putting it off for too long. I think that procrastination also takes place in my life due to laziness which is something that I might need to change to ensure greater success.

  2. Peace&Love says:

    The word procrastination has probably been used more often in the modern and developed worlds because we are introduced to such distracting advanced technologies and entertainment available. I don’t think that procrastination was as popular in the past as it is today. I think that many people today find it difficult to focus on whether they want to continue something that they are not interested in opposed to something that enlightens their emotions. In order to solve this issue, I believe that is important to get an individual to change their point of view of what they may see as “boring” into something more positive and interesting. Time management also plays as a key factor in procrastination and it can possibly help to get an individual to spend less time procrastinating.

  3. MichaelSelinger24 says:

    Yet another great Blog Stephane and with good timing too! I’ve bookmarked this one.

    I can honestly say that this whole Spring break, I’ve done nothing but procrastinate to this day (being Wednesday). I feel like I can’t get myself to do my work and it goes for many things in my life like working out and whatnot. I know that all it takes is to get into it and once I’m in it, I’ll be on my way doing more than I ever needed to but for someone reason I find myself not wanting to break that barrier. It’s like diving for the first time; you’re on the diving board, looking down at what seems to be an endless drop to the water and all it takes it to take a step off the board and you’re halfway there. But it seems that step is just too much so you get off and sit back on the edge of the pool until eventually you jump in, eyes closed without thinking and the next thing you know you’re doing it again and again.

    Truthfully, this is one of my biggest life goals as a young adult who hasn’t yet experienced the stresses of life. I want to be able to break this bad habit before I find myself too far behind to even begin to catch up. I’ve experienced a little of that this semester, and I’m not particularly happy that I’ve had to push myself twice as hard to keep up and so I feel that my March Break has been a time to work and fix this habit. So I guess I should say wish me luck because I feel like this will be the hardest habit to kick by far. But i know once I’m out of this habit, I’ll be on my way to making greater things happen for myself.

    • Stephane Gaskin PhD says:

      Yes ! I knew it would have an impact….

    • Stephane Gaskin PhD says:

      It takes practice….to recognise when you are about to procrastinate, the reasonyou do it for and then to refocus on what needs to be done….the rewarding feeling you get from getting the job done surpasses the immediate reward that comes from doing a distracting behaviour.

    • RPS says:

      I have been caught in a slump of procrastinating as well. Ever since the break I have been off my track. Sadly, I feel so far behind that it feels overwhelming to try and catch up. For some reason my last semester has been my worst one so far in regard to procrastination. My first semester I have been really on top of my work and I followed a strick and realistic schedule. Wishing us luck will not help anything though. It is not about luck. It is about detection and a refusal to make excuses. Procrastination is a problem that is self inflicted. I know that you and I will be on our way to making greater things happen if we simply bite the bullet and cram in the work we have put off and once our head is over water, we have to get back on track. On track means: creating a realistic schedule, making reminders in our phones, avoiding giving in to laziness and distractions and getting good sleep.

  4. MichaelSelinger24 says:

    I have to agree with Peace&Love on this one. The main reason why we procrastinate so much is because of our unlimited access to things like the internet and smartphones. Our minds have become so used to the constant barrage of social media and internet notifications that we crave these things like drugs. Our minds can’t handle spending more than a few seconds on something without wanting to jump to the next thing because it has adapted to functioning that way.

    Just today, I decided to conduct a little experiment with myself. Usually, when writing essays, I find myself on Facebook and youtube and my phone is on (probably texting my girlfriend and friends) and in two hours I’ll have gotten a paragraph at most done. Today, I shut my phone off (put it on airplane mode actually) and turned off my internet since I didn’t need it for my essay and i went to work. In two hours, I got half an essay done and a few assignments done as well. I really felt like my biggest distractions were the internet and my phone. I may adopt this new method of working because I really feel it’s effective in being efficient.

    • Gabrielle Lesage says:

      I agree. The easy access to social media and other stuff just fuels the need to procrastinate.

      When I find myself procrastinating, it is because I check Facebook or research stuff about books I like (which have nothing to do with the work that needs to be done). Although I know I should shut off everything and focus solely on my work, I still feel the need for all of the social media and stuff to be easily accessible to me.

      I remember watching a video where a psychologist said that the reason we are so addicted to technology, social media and our smartphones is because we feel the need to be constantly connected to others. I wonder if this need of connection can be tied with why people procrastinate…

      • Melissa Synnott says:

        I think pretty much everyone can relate to what you guys said, it is so easy to drift away and technology makes us feel like we can multitask in an effective way even though it was proven that our brain works better one task at a time.

      • JJ says:

        I agree as well. With all of todays technology we can find other alternatives that seem more amusing than our homework. Even if I am searching online for my assignments, I am often brought off track my adds, videos, or messages that pop up on my computer or phone. There are so many distractions that it is hard to stay concentrated on one thing, and this leads to further procrastination!

        • RPS says:

          I certainly can relate. However, these are not valid excuses. I realise that even though it feels good during the moment to let your mind be free of stress and responsibilities… It definitely makes life a lot harder after you realise how much time has been wasted. In the moment when we want to give in to those more amusing distractions and recreational activities we agree with John Lennon’s famous saying, “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” Until you realise that the small amount of pleasure wasting time gave you is definitely outweighed by the product of procrastination: stress, panic and anxiety.

    • cloey123 says:

      This is very true. In our society, the technology is extremely influential. It is good in the sense that it provides, instant information with the click of the button. This helps students find the necessary information in seconds. However, it also distracts students because there is so much we can do with the technology we have today. We have our phones to check e-mail, instagram, snap chap, texts, phone calls. We have video games and Facebook and Twitter, the list just goes on and anyone can find endless amounts of things to do. It would make sense that procrastination is more of a problem today then it was 20 years ago because there are just so many more distractions.

  5. Peace&Love says:

    Procrastination is something that everyone can control. Most people believe that they don’t have control over it, which is why they continue to procrastinate. The goal is to get out of the cycle of repetitive behavior so that you can get out of this “misery” in hope to find an equilibrium between work and play.

    • Stephane Gaskin PhD says:

      You know you are not procrastinating when you do immediately rewarding things like Internet, gaming, tv etc…without guilt. So the goal is to increase your guilt free activities.

    • Gabrielle Lesage says:

      I completely agree with you. Many people feel that the act of procrastination has a strong grip on them and that is the reason they do things the last minute. Is this true, or do they use this train of thought as an excuse or sort of defence mechanism?

      I started to organize all the work that I need to do in an agenda, and I have been procrastinating less than before when I had no agenda. Maybe the key to beating procrastination is organization…

  6. Gabrielle Lesage says:

    It’s interesting, because when I think of procrastination, I don’t think of perfectionism or the fear of failing.

    I would think that if someone is a perfectionist, then they would start the specific task earlier to be able to work on it (trying to make it perfect) until the absolute deadline.

    I can understand more the fear of failing aspect. Someone pushes something to later because they are afraid, but what is ironic is that because they complete the task at the last minute then the work is not as great as it might have been had they started earlier.

    I remember someone saying that they work better under pressure and stress. Because the work is done at the last minute, would that be procrastination or something else because it is the way they work best?

    • Stephane Gaskin PhD says:

      They perceive that work well that way because they get OK results. Then get comfortable putting things off. They still pay a price. They are very anxious and guilty about not doing what they are supposed to do. Also they never learn they would have done much better had they been better prepared. Now it also depends on whether a task is simple or complex.

      • Homi says:

        I mostly do my assignments last minute because I know that i have to do it. I do get good grades even though i did not plan my work earlier. I do believe that I work better under pressure because it gives me no time to think about other stuff that may be more interesting for me. this is the main reason why i work well last minute.

        • Melissa Synnott says:

          Same here Homi, most of the time I really feel like it would not make a difference if I did my work 1 week in advance or the night before, since when I do it in advance I tend to lose my focus faster because I know I still have time.

        • LingLi says:

          I agree with Homi, I sometimes get a thrill of ambiguity when I do things last minute, because I know I cannot know everything by the time, but I would learn a lot of information within that small space of time and actually achieve good results. Surprisingly some of my good grades were done under this pressured moment of procrastination, it somewhat made me feel alive to live up to a challenge with time ticking for me to conquer it.

  7. Jessica Mills says:

    good timing! I started off strong this march break doing a lot of work that I needed to but its all been downhill after st.patty’s day! I will definitely implement this into my daily habits from now own seeing as from here on out any procrastination will be harmful to my grades. However, I find myself procrastinating more from my lack of will to do anything that doesn’t directly interest me. Is there a way to implement this by using that angle?

    • Stephane Gaskin PhD says:

      Instead of fighting your lack of will….acknowledge it and all the reasons you feel that way. Think about how it may be normal to feel that way. Then tell yourself that procrastination is a way you learned to deal with those feelings. Next, refocus on what has to be done. Practice this everytime you feel you are going to put something off.

      • Jessica Mills says:

        Alright I will definitely try to follow these steps in the upcoming weeks until The semester is over. Thanks 🙂

    • LingLi says:

      St-Patrick made me lazy too, like its the cue that tells me it’s time to stop using the cognitive function of the brain and doze off as a brainless guy who just keep on working. Work has used up a lot of my time, I felt like not doing any school work after I come home from work, I hope this method will help me change my view on things.

  8. Homi says:

    Great timing! I had to give a paper on tuesday and it is still not done. I think that i procrastinate a lot about school work because i do not see the importance on many of them. I lack of motivation for doing things that seem useless to me. I have to work on my brain to not always do what i feel like, which is sometimes a bad habit.

    • Dumbo13 says:

      I feel exactly the same way as you. I have an essay due in two days that I did not start, because I have to motivation and no inspiration to write it at all. I also agree with what you said that most assignments do not mean anything to me, and I only do them to have a good grade. However, when something really does interest me, I put all my energy on it and do my very best.

    • Jessica Mills says:

      I’m the exact same way! Its a lot harder to work on things one finds useless. The bad habit to put it off because its boring is something I feel we can all relate to!

  9. Homi says:

    I agree with you that procrastination is one of the main issue nowadays. But i do not see school work as being always something that nourish our knowledge or enlighten us. i believe that personal projects are the main thing that really help us define ourselves and gain knowledge. I also find it easier to forget about all the distraction around me while doing something important for myself rather than doing something for school.

    • Sereena Pigeon says:

      That’s a good point. Sometimes the assignments we are given are really useless or uninteresting. So doing something that you actually enjoy that gives you a chance to relax is probably more beneficial than something that takes a lot of time and energy that is only done to obtain a good mark and not actually for your personal development.

  10. cloey123 says:

    The four steps may help people stop procrastinating but for me, I do not feel that this would work. The reason why I procrastinate is because I would rather do other things that do my work. I will take naps, go on walks, read, waste time on the Internet, etc; basically anything that will prevent me from doing my work. I think refusing to procrastinate is harder than it sounds, especially when so much time passes while realization.

    Unfortunately for me, I only follow these steps at the very last minute, right when the work is due. For example, at some point I Relabel. I say okay, I am aware that I am procrastinating. Then I Reattribute. I know I am not the procrastination and have the ability to do what I need to do. Most importantly, I will Refocus. I will refuse to procrastinate any longer because I know I need to do my work. So, I will make a list of all my tasks and then do them. I’m not quite sure why I only follow this steps at the very last minute and I know if I started doing this earlier on, i would no longer procrastinate, and most importantly, do better on tests/assignments.

  11. amber jonas says:

    I very much relate with this article but not in the sense of OCD per say, but rather with panic. Having a panic disorder has been a constant battle for me throughout this past year, but with much help (psychologically and medically) I have learned to accept that the mental illness doesn’t have to define me – it is up to me to either make it powerful or powerless. I honestly believe that out of all the four steps, reattribution is the one that I use the most frequently and the one that I categorize as being the most effective. It is extremely important for a person to understand that they are not their mental illness – they are so much more: smart, creative, funny, bubbly and also have a mental illness. You are not your OCD, panic or depression, you are the living proof of strength because you are fighting a battle, alone, against your mind, while living your life to your fullest. You are not your brain, you are an extraordinary being.

  12. amber jonas says:

    When it comes to procrastination… Well I must admit that I am the queen at that. I procrastinate mostly because I truly believe that I work better under pressure. The stress pushes me to work harder and more efficiently because I know that I am closer to a deadline and I know that that isn’t how one should work, but I find it most effective. Does anyone else feel the same way?

    • KatherineRosenfeld says:

      I agree! A lot of my work is done better under pressure.. because it’s your last chance to make something special happen! But sometimes that leaves me so stressed that I lose my mind and then I don’t meet the deadlines. Pressure of the “last chance” feeling can be helpful, but sometimes can get you into trouble.. like it has for me.

  13. amber jonas says:

    I also feel the need to procrastinate due to being such a perfectionist and I find it very funny that you mention perfectionism in this article because I believe it to be very true. When I do something, I do it well. I put 110% of my effort into it because there is nothing worse to me, than handing in something done half-assed. In my opinion, if you start something you have to finish it and do so well. This is why I feel the need to also procrastinate because I know that if I’m going to start it, I’ll have to finish it that day – I’m not one of those people who can start an essay one day, write half and continue it the next day; it’s just not who I am. Therefore, I know that when I start something, I’ll be working on it for a while, which means that a good chunk of my time will be occupied doing so. With that being said, I try to avoid it as long as possible so that I can occupy my time doing something I actually WANT to do. Again, I know this isn’t very smart of me, but this is how I work and get things done.

  14. Cloey123 says:

    I always tell myself that I will stop procrastinating NEXT time. It seems so easy because all you have to do is set a time to do the work and then actually do it. I say to myself NEXT time i know i need to start working earlier and i WILL. But this is so much harder than it seems and i end up working in a cycle. I get the assignment, I tell myself i will do it earlier this time and end up doing it last minute. I really want to make an effort to follow these four steps because this is something i have never tried before. It might be an alternative way, better than what i tell myself now that will help me get rid of my procrastination problems

    • KatherineRosenfeld says:

      How will you make those steps forward in order to stop the cycle? That’s what I find most challenging. How do I trick my brain into being motivated to plan ahead and avoid anxiety? I think the steps are a small aid in making an change, but I think it really comes down to what will make you stay motivated and keep staying that way. It’s so easy to lose focus and slip up again (it’s like an addiction haha). For me at least, I really need to dig deep and understand what will get me to actually stay committed to not procrastinate.

  15. Melissa Synnott says:

    Right now, I sort of wish I had read this before since it’s already sunday night and I am left with a list of homeworks/assignment to do for tomorrow… It has not occured to me before that I could possibly procrastinate in fear of not being good enough and in a way it makes sense because I feel like my work is always at its best when I do it last minute under pressure. However, at the same time,my past experience with procrastination has always been okay, because I ended up with good or satisfying grades, but sleepless night. So, I feel like the stress is worth it. Honestly, I think for me to take action against procrastination, it would take a traumatic event or a negative outcome linked to that.

    • Dumbo13 says:

      I feel the same way as you! I did no homework or assignments during the break, and now it is the first day back at school and I am very stressed because of my work-load. However, like you also, I work very well under pressure , so procrastinating does not bother me that much. I never missed a deadline so I have no problem getting the work done. I think that if I did not procrastinate as much, I would not do my work as well since I will be completely relax while doing it. I might even do it badly because I will tell myself that I can fix it up later since I am not last-minute.

  16. LingLi says:

    I can certainly relate myself to the perfectionist view of procrastination, I notice I do a lot half-assed, but finish the project at the last minute so it looks nicely done. It made me think how I push things back by believing it would be a better product, but at the end I have an averaged project that may have been improved if done earlier and just add some touch ups to it.

  17. Dumbo13 says:

    I find it interesting that you compare OCD with procrastination. The two are extremely different but both cause anxiety on the long run. I think it might be easier to use these four steps to help the procrastination than with the OCD. Like it says in the article, step 3 is the hardest with OCD because the only thing that will stop the stress is doing the mimic that causes OCD. So even if you try and do something pleasant to change the focus of your mind, it is very hard. I think these four steps might be useful for procrastination, because after all, we already do step 1, we know when we procrastinate.

  18. Eliana Bucaro says:

    Its funny because I wouldn’t necessarily think of comparing procrastination and perfectionism together nor would I think one would lead to another. For me I leave all my school work to the last minute unless its something that I want to do. For certain classed I really enjoy what I’m learning and I am exited about doing the work as strange as it may sound. But for other I put off the work for as long as I can, I eventually get the work done but I know it doesn’t represent what I am capable of.

  19. JJ says:

    I know that I am a huge procrastinator. I procrastinate when it comes to my homework, applying for jobs, choosing a university to go to, etc. Through using these 4 steps in our course pack, I was able to identify the reasons why I procrastinate and ways to overcome my procrastination. One of the reasons why I procrastinate is because of my fear of failure. However, I have now learnt that I can look at my failures as reasons to be more motivated to achieve my goals, rather than using them as a reasons to give up completely.

  20. Sereena Pigeon says:

    Wow everyone has been making some really good points. I agree with Peace&Love also because whenever I realize that I’m procrastinating, I’m usually on some social networking site or playing games on my phone. It happens so quickly too! I’m definitely going to try to catch myself before it happens next time, because it is a major time waster. I already feel like I don’t have enough time on my hands, so this bad habit is not helping at all.

  21. Sereena Pigeon says:

    This blog does a good job at describing different types of procrastination and I feel like I do all of these. Sometimes I look at every little detail and take way longer to finish something than was needed, and sometimes I jump at the first opportunity that arises that will give me an excuse not to do my work. Unfortunately though, procrastinating doesn’t make the work go away… It just pushes it to later and we’re making it harder on ourselves.

    Sometimes though, I feel like if I don’t procrastinate, I’ll never have any time to relax. My schedule is very full so I feel like to make time for myself, I need to take that time from other tasks. I’d probably have time to myself if I just got the work done early, but for some reason, it feels like there’ll just be more work waiting for me when I finish. This could just be another way my brain justifies my procrastination and I should really break this mindset. But I have a feeling it’s easier said than done.

    • CThompson says:

      i always get the feeling that it’s ok to push work off to give myself time to relax. like you said, procrastination is justified that way sometimes. but then, right before the assignment is due i get so stressed because i still haven’t done it that all those hours spent relaxing were for nothing. then the next week i take more time to relax because of the stress i had the previous week…it’s a vicious cycle really.

  22. Rachel Mayer says:

    When reading this text, I realized the true meaning of being a procrastinator, and I am when it comes to schoolwork. When I have two weeks to do my assignment, I tend to always do it last minute, take big breaks and I would tell myself “ ok Rachel in one hour ill be serious”. Then it reaches the point that its 10pm and the assignment is due at midnight, and I’m there just stuck not knowing how ill succeed in doing this 1000 word essay in two hours. This is a big problem, and I’ve lost marks because of my procrastination and it all derives from being lazy and in order to succeed I need to work on my laziness.

  23. Rachel Mayer says:

    I know for a fact that I am a procrastinator. With the help from the course pack, I was able to identity the 4 steps of being a procrastinator and many ways to find a solution to that. The reason I procrastinate is because I’m scared of failing and I tend to take hours on one sentence. I always feel like what I write is wrong and so I tend to procrastinate and take my sweet time. Nevertheless, I now know that I shouldn’t see my failures as something bad and I should give up on anything. I should try my best in order to succeed and achieve my goals!

  24. Rachel Mayer says:

    The four types of procrastination is exactly what I go through. Procrastination does not make the world load go away and there has to be a way in order to fight the procrastination and then ill be able to succeed. When procrastinating, you get more and more work and then you become over whelmed and tend to give up. It just makes it ten times harder on us. The reason why I procrastinate is because I tell myself that I have no free time, and I don’t have time to see my friends or hang out with my little brother. So I just tend to make a lot of time for myself, and then the last hour for my assignment to be handed in, I start stressing and not being able to give in a good assignment. There is a bunch of ways to fight procrastination, and I will start using them.

    • CThompson says:

      to me, it’s funny how i always put assignments off to the last minute but then i end up with all this stress i put myself through to get it done. i do this time and time again even though i know ill be so stressed out.

  25. CThompson says:

    I should really start to apply the four-step proccess to me everyday life to avoid procrastinating. I tell myself that I’ll put and assignment off so i can work on other homework, but i never get that other homework done right away either. I’m always very last minute, and I should really stop that. (Like these blog entries are due today and I’m only getting them done today….)

  26. I can relate to this article a lot and the fact how it mentions at the beginning of the article how

    “In OCD people have obtrusive thoughts or images (obsession), which give rise to high levels of anxiety. This anxiety is reduced when the person engages in a certain repetitive action, counting or checking”

    An example for me is when I’m leaving my house and i need to double check if the door was locked about 5 times before i leave because i worry that its open. Maybe after reading this blog and using the steps maybe i will try and get over this fear or OCD

  27. I agree with rachel because I’m one of the biggest procrastinators when it comes to school work because i always tend to wait for the night before no matter what kind of assignment it is! I always take hours to do an assignment because i end up on Facebook or instagram and it gets done 3 hours later. All of these habits should be changed because it did result in me getting lower marks and sometimes zeros. I just need to start organizing myself more and taking things more serious and not wait till the last minute. Most of the time its because I’m lazy and not interested in the homework I’m doing !

  28. I strongly agree with serena, how she mentions how she looks at every single detail and takes her much longer to finish something, I’m the same way because even tho i procrastinate i always want my work to be amazing & that’s not always possible because i wait to the last minute and expect to do well. i also agree with the fact that if i don’t procrastinate then ill never have time for the things i love doing and will never have time to relax.

  29. KatherineRosenfeld says:

    Procrastination is one of my biggest struggles. I am a pro-crastinator, as my parents would say. I get easily distracted or purposely put off assignments or tasks, which in the moment alleviates stress but in the long run provokes more anxiety. I really need to attack this challenge and make an effort to change my unmotivated ways. I just don’t see myself changing any time soon if I’m being honest with myself. What can I really do in order to change? Well, that’s up to me. The brain works in stranger ways and you have the ability to rework the way you think, but where does the motivation come from? How can you become motivated in order to make those changes? That’s what I find most challenging.

  30. melissa k.-b says:

    Thinking at a friend who has LCD, I realize that they may be doing these steps. They often identify (label) the thoughts that cause them anxiety in order to stay away from the compulsive behaviour. I think its interesting to apply it to procrastination!

  31. melissa k.-b says:

    I can see how procrastination works in a similar way. Indeed, it can be a reaction to anxious thoughts. Personally, I tend to procrastinate work becausr I don’t associate with it. I feel like the homework that I have to do serves no purpose to myself so I don’t do it and feel bad for not doing that so I don’t allow myself to even do the work that I enjoy.

  32. melissa k.-b says:

    I don’t know how I can apply this to myself per say, but I think that doing the first step of acknowledging that this is me procrastinating wi get me to the next steps and so on!

  33. Caterina Stamoulos says:

    I do think I procrastinate a lot when it comes to school work. I always leave my tests and assignments for the last second and it’s not good because I’m left rushing everything therefore my grade is effected, and it sucks because if I didn’t procrastinate my grades would reflect, and be better than it is when I rush things. I think I procrastinate mainly because I am lazy and I need to change these behaviours if I want to succeed in the future, it is a terrible habbit of mine! as mentioned before and I think it’s a very common issue, most assignment are giving well ahead of time so I think oh okay it’s not so bad to prolong it and do it later, and then when the time comes I have about 10 things I need to do in one week and them I feel overwhlemed and stressed because of my procrastination.