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The Relationship Between Procrastination And Wellbeing

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It might be hard to believe, but procrastination did not rise because of the Internet. It started during ancient civilizations where people have struggled with habitual hesitation. Around 800 B.C., the Greek Poet Hesiod wrote the following: “Do not put off your work until tomorrow and the day after. For the sluggish worker does not fill his barn, nor the one who puts off his work; industry aids work, but the man who puts off work always wrestles with disaster”. In 44 B.C., Cicero was the consul of Rome denouncing his political opponents, Marcus Antonius stated, “In the conduct of almost every affair slowness and procrastination are hateful”. Those are just some cases from recorded history. As far as we know, the dinosaurs saw the meteorite coming and went back to their game of Angry Pterodactyls. In the beginning, there seemed to be advantages in procrastinating since these students had less stress compared to others, probably because they delayed their work to engage in more pleasurable activities. In the end, the disadvantages of procrastination far exceeded the temporary benefits. True procrastinators did not just finish their work later, the quality of it also damaged, as did their well-being (Eric Jaffe, 2013).

Procrastination is defined as “the deferment or avoidance, without good reason, of an intended or scheduled task until tomorrow” (Neville, 2007). According to Mortazavi, (2016) nowadays, procrastination or delaying completing the task until the last possible minute has been a common disorder among both youths and adults. As mentioned by Ferrari et. all (2005) there are two forms of procrastination, which are arousal (active) procrastination and avoidance (passive) procrastination. The arousal procrastination is where they are purposively waiting until the last minute in order to engage in hyperactivity as the deadline to the task approaches. However, avoidance procrastination is the delay of tasks by not completing a task by a specific deadline. This was supported in the article by Habelrih & Hicks, (2015) it mentioned that procrastination in both types (active and passive) will give an impact on the effectiveness of individuals and organizations specifically in their psychological well-being and performance. The meaning of wellbeing is inarguably complex and can be quite subjective depending on the context they are put to use. Well-being is newly defined as the balance point between an individual’s resource pool and the challenges faced. Basically, stable well-being can be achieved if the individuals have the psychological, social, and physical resources they need to fulfill a particular psychological, social, and/or physical challenge. When individuals have more challenges than resources, it will lead them to have unstable well-being (Dodge, Daly, Huyton, & Sanders, 2012). The Oxford dictionary defines wellbeing as “the state of being or doing well in life; happy, healthy, or prosperous condition; moral or physical welfare (of a person or community)”. Within the concept of subjective well-being, it is defined as incorporating both cognitive and affective evaluations of a person’s life and involves happiness and satisfaction with life (Duckworth, Steen, Seligman, 2005).Review of Literature on the Relationship between Procrastination and Well-being the relationship between procrastination and well-being has been well researched. Several studies that have been conducted showed that procrastination caused low well-being. One of them is Mortazi (2016) who conducted a cross-sectional study on 498 medical students at Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences tested the hypothesis that there are relationships between academic procrastination and low well-being. The results showed that the low well-being status and academic procrastination were interrelated.

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Also, a longitudinal online questionnaire was administered on 162 undergraduate students at the University of Zurich by Kraus and Freund (2014). It tested the hypothesis that state self-report measures of procrastination predict affective well-being better than a state measure of behavioral procrastination. The hypothesis was accepted as the finding was affective well-being correlated moderately negatively with academic state procrastination and trait procrastination, but not with behavioral procrastination. In another recent study run by Duru and Balkis (2017) using a paper-pencil survey on 348 undergraduate students (73% female) enrolled in a Turkey University, shows self-esteem affected by the indirect effect of academic performance, mediated the relationship between procrastination and well-being. The study concluded that the indirect effect of procrastination on well-being by the mediation of self-esteem is stronger in the case of poor academic performance. Some studies have examined the relationship between procrastination and specifically towards psychological well-being. In one study, Jayaraja, Tan, and Ramasamy (2017) carried out quantitative correlational research or online questionnaire on 449 undergraduate university students in Malaysia. The researchers came up with a hypothesis that procrastination will affect psychological well-being than mindfulness. At the end of the research, the researchers found that low procrastination and high mindfulness, have high psychological well-being. In contrast, some studies showed a specific type of procrastination can lead to better well-being. As evidence, Zeenat (2016) wanted to investigate the relationship between psychological well-being and the two dimensions of procrastinating which are active and passive. The hypothesis was higher psychological well-being score will result in higher scores on active procrastination. Meanwhile, a lower psychological well-being score will result in a higher score on passive procrastination. The participants were 120 students studying at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi. They needed to answer a survey. The findings concluded that psychological well-being and active procrastination are positively correlated and psychological well-being and passive procrastination are negatively correlated. A similar finding and conclusion were reached by Habelrih and Hicks (2015) in which they gave surveys to 152 university students from universities across Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia (114 females, 38 males).

In a nutshell, this showed that procrastination can lead to better or worse well-being depending on the types of procrastination. The Implication of Past Research on Present StudyThe aim of the present study is to examine the relationship between procrastination and well-being. The study is slightly similar to the study conducted by Ryff (1989) which is an Internet Based Survey. In the present study, researchers focus on the undergraduate students from International Islamic University Malaysia and the survey conducted using Google Survey Form. The study of well-being slightly replicates the research study by Kafka & Kozma (2001). In that study, there is an issue of construct validity where the result was not supported their hypothesis and items failed to load according to the structure proposed by Ryff (1989). Furthermore, a survey done by Zeenat (2016) shows that there was a high psychological well-being score as a result of higher scores on active procrastination. This is similar to the study done by Habelrih & Hicks (2015) where their results show that psychological well-being is positively correlated to active procrastination which means it is possible that procrastination can lead to better well-being. The present study wants to find the relationship between procrastination and well-being. It also wants to achieve the six dimensions of positive functioning adopted from Ryff (1989). The predictor variable of the current study is procrastination that is defined as delaying completing the task (Mortazavi, 2016), and the outcome variable, well-being that defined as incorporating both cognitive and affective evaluations of a person’s life, and involves happiness and satisfaction with life (Duckworth, Steen, Seligman, 2005). Therefore, the hypothesis of the study is that there is a relationship between procrastination and well-being among undergraduate students of International Islamic University Malaysia.

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