Procrastination Informative Essay

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In recent years, interest in the problem of procrastination has grown significantly. In the late 70s of the 20th century, the first studies of this problem were started, and the first publications on this topic were based on the clinical and advisory experience of its researchers. During these studies, a link was found between procrastination and personality characteristics. For an achievement-oriented society, procrastination is an individual problem. The constant pursuit of achievement leads to the fact that people are regularly faced with obligations that require them to be fulfilled within a tightly set time frame. Modern European civilization is just that. All this determines the growing interest of the scientific community in a deeper study of the phenomenon of procrastination. The word procrastination comes from the Latin word “procrastinates” (pro - forward, further, crastinus - tomorrow). The scientific term 'procrastination' was found by P. Ringenbach in 1977 in the book 'Procrastination in a Person's Life'. It should be noted that the phenomenon of procrastination itself has been noticed for a long time, modern researchers J.B. Burka, L.M. Yuen, J. Harriott, J.R. Ferrari, B. Tuckman, P. Steel, Ya.I. Varvaricheva, V.S. Kovylin, et al. For example, the Egyptians had two verbs in their language to denote procrastination: the first meant a good habit of avoiding unnecessary work and impulsive actions, and the second - was laziness when performing tasks necessary for survival. Also, in the works of ancient philosophers, there is often a condemnation of procrastination. So, Cicero believed that slowness is unacceptable in any business. Throughout human history, people have condemned or praised such behavior. However, real scientific analysis and research of this phenomenon have been carried out for no more than 40 years. Currently, there are many definitions of procrastination, in which the fundamental elements of this phenomenon can be distinguished - the deliberate postponement of doing things, and the subjective feeling of internal discomfort at the same time. Procrastination is the postponement of performing the necessary actions to achieve any set goal. Some authors consider procrastination as an irrational delay in behavior. In this case, the irrationality of behavior lies in the independent choice of a plan of action, despite the high probability that it will not be beneficial for the individual both from the material and from the psychological point of view. Other studies have shown the association of procrastination with some personality variables, such as low self-esteem, severe perfectionism, depression, and anxiety.

Procrastination as a phenomenon has several varieties. The basic variants of procrastination are often distinguished - behavioral and associated with postponing decisions. Milgram, one of the first researchers of procrastination, identified five of its types: 1) household - postponing household chores that should be done regularly; 2) procrastination in decision-making (including minor ones); 3) neurotic - postponing vital decisions, such as choosing a profession or starting a family; 4) compulsive, when two types of procrastination are combined - domestic and procrastination in decision-making; 5) academic - postponing the completion of study assignments, preparation for exams, etc. In the context of studying the relationship between procrastination and mental health, all types of procrastination are relevant. There is unevenness in research focused on specific types of procrastination. The most studied is academic procrastination. Obviously, it is much easier to study a sample of students than a sample of the adult working population. According to surveys by American authors, academic procrastination associated with educational activities is a common phenomenon for more than 70% of students. When writing term papers and preparing for exams, procrastination is recorded by one in four of the surveyed students. Almost 25% of the surveyed students recognize procrastination as a moderate or even severe problem, and the tendency to postpone work is noted as having a negative impact not only on the educational process but also on the overall quality of their life [21]. Academic procrastination contains two main components: 1) the tendency to postpone the completion of current and final assignments; and 2) the presence of anxiety associated with this postponement. Since procrastination is common among students, it is important to define its scope and its negative consequences. Let us turn to one of the significant generalizing meta-reviews of the problem of procrastination, made by P. Steel. There is a significant amount of empirical work on procrastination, including some that highlight aspects directly related to personality traits and mental health. All research can be divided into four main types: 1) characteristics of the tasks that contribute to procrastination; 2) the consequences of postponing behavior; 3) the individual characteristics of the procrastinators themselves; and 4) demographic differences. Research into the characteristics of tasks contributes to understanding the possible causes of procrastination. Evidence from research on the effects of procrastination looks at the immediate possible effects of procrastination behavior. Everything related to the study of individual differences was considered from the point of view of the traditional five-factor personality model. Finally, examining demographic data provides an opportunity to consider in which age and social groups procrastination is common. Procrastination means voluntarily choosing one task over others. Therefore, one cannot rationally postpone all tasks, but one can give preference to one and neglect others. Unless people randomly procrastinate, the very nature of this phenomenon has some influence on their decisions. In support of this thesis, in a study by R. Briody (1980), about 50% of the respondents answered that their delay in completing a particular task was associated with some of its characteristics. Two putative factors were suggested that could be associated with delay: the timing of the expected “rewards” and “punishments,” and the rejection of the task as such. It has long been noticed that the further the expected event in time, the less influence it has on the decisions of people (Levin K., 1935). Ainslie (1975) gave a historical analysis of this phenomenon from a psychological point of view, recognizing the phenomenon of impulsivity in its genesis, while Loewenstein (1992) adhered to a predominantly economic point of view - the theory of temporary discounting. There is a large amount of evidence for this phenomenon.

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