Procrastination Statistics and How to Overcome Them
Because it is not considered to be a genuine mental dysfunction, very few procrastination statistics are available. It is a widespread problem, however, affecting students and professionals alike, as well as stay-at-home parents and retirees. This article seeks to discuss current procrastination statistics and indentify ways to overcome the procrastination bug that seems t be taking the world by storm.
Some Procrastination Statistics
Several studies have been done to research procrastination, and the results are quite troubling indeed. When results were combined, experts agreed that nearly 95% of the people studied have problems with procrastinating. Of those people, an estimated 20% were chronic procrastinators. To the average citizen this means that roughly 1/5 of people procrastinate so much that they may be jeopardizing their jobs, credit, relationships, and family.
Why Are Those Numbers Important?
Procrastination doesn’t just affect students. It generally lasts throughout life and these traits and habits can easily be passed on to the procrastinator’s children. While people may not see this as anything more than being a little lazy, it is important to compare the statistics to current economic problems throughout the world.
With jobs as scarce as they are in America, people do not have the luxury of putting things off until later. Should they lose their job due to slacking off, it will be immeasurably harder to find more work. If you are a chronic procrastinator, however, there is hope. There are certain things you can do to help improve your situation and get rid of this bad behavior.
Causes for Procrastination
There are several theories circulating regarding the causes for procrastination. Laziness is not a catch-all explanation. Rather, there are usually deeper issues that result in this behavior. Some experts believe that procrastination simply depends on whether or not the task is enjoyable. They feel that people will do enjoyable tasks more quickly and put off more tedious tasks until the last minute. While this may be true in some cases, it is not true for everyone. Many people will put off pleasurable tasks such as creative writing or art despite the fact that they love the activities.
Another possible explanation lends itself more towards people with hectic schedules like students and business people. Like an anorexic may deprive their body of food so they feel in control of something, many people will delay work that has been piled upon them for the same reason. They have no control over their workload, but they feel subconsciously that they have the ability to control how they do the work.
How to Stop Procrastinating
Stopping this behavior is a bit more complex than simply promising yourself to not wait until the last minute. One of the best things you can do is to determine what time of the day you are most productive. Are you a morning person? Do you get a big burst of energy in the evening? Plan the majority of your tasks around this timeframe if at all possible. If you are a student for instance and you feel most productive in the evening, you should schedule your homework around this time, and save socializing for before and after.
Some people simply look for minor excuses and distractions. If you have important work to do and a deadline to do it in, get rid of any distractions prior to sitting down at your desk. Turn off the clock radio. Get rid of gadgets and gizmos that you may find yourself fiddling with. If you have a family, confine yourself to a quiet room in the house and inform your loved ones that you are working and need to be left alone for a while.