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Do You Have a Student That Procrastinates?

Jan 11, 2008
We all do it at some time. We put off things that we don't really want to do, regardless of how important or how big a priority they are. We leave them because they seem too difficult, or alternatively too much time we think it's going to take, or even how small a task it is and so we think we'll just squeeze it in somewhere -- but somehow even the tiny task gets left right up until the last minute. Usually what we find however is that the dreaded task we've been procrastinating about is far easier and takes much less time than we thought that it would.

Students are no different to the rest of us in this. There are many reasons why they procrastinate about work and the most common of these are:

Lack of Understanding -- they don't really understand either the subject, or what is required. It could even be that an assignment question is a little ambiguous and so they can reasonable justify their procrastination to start on the work because they don't know what's required! A simple chat to their teacher would clarify this and at some point, they're still going to need to do this, but it's going to be very close to the deadline for the assignment being due before they get motivated to do so.

Uncertain of Success -- no-one wants to fail and so fearing failure is a big factor in putting something off. As with most procrastination however, the thing they're putting off is usually nowhere near as difficult as they assumed and they have no problem in successfully completing it.

Bad Study Habits -- they have fallen into a routine of constantly leaving all tasks until the last minute. This is usually a domino effect of one project being late which means the time they ought to be spending on the next project is spent on the late project. This could be stopped by spending additional time to get up-to-date and then sticking to a study schedule that means they aren't motivated into procrastination by feeling overwhelmed of always being a project behind.

Procrastination in small doses is fine as long as the tasks to get completed on time. Within an educational context however there is very little room for leaving things to the last minute as the last minute of one thing is usually the beginning of another. If you are a student who puts things off to the last minute try to acknowledge when you are procrastinating about something rather than having a legitimate reason not to do it, identify why you don't want to do it, and then make a positive plan as to when you are going to do it -- and make sure you do!
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs an In-Home Tutoring service called Aim High Tutors. Find out about how to help your student reach their full potential at http://www.aimhightutors.com/blog
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