Most of us have heard the saying “Just Robinson Crusoe only had everything done by Friday”. This clearly proves that most of us have that instinct of procrastinating. So, what is procrastination? According to Shah (2000), procrastination is said to be an “indecisive state lacking will power and vitality to do a work” (Hussain & Sultan, 2010). Procrastination can occur in many areas but according to a study done by Hussain and Sultan (2010), they have not only identified that students delay their work more than general public but they also delay most in submitting assignments which is 87%. Reasons for this being Lack of guidance, Overconfidence, social problems etc. Different scholars (Morelli,2008; Schmitt,2008; Letham,2004) have identified that procrastination varies from realistic to behavioural to spiritual and so on (Hussain & Sultan, 2010).
This essay wishes to discuss the methods and results of procrastinating, Results of the Survey/Questionnaire, The strategies of Time management and Its Future Implications.This paragraph will be touching on the methods of procrastination and how it affects students. Assignments are activities given to students in order to measure their level of competency in the subject matter that relates to the assignment. One must identify that students are people who are learning to be professionals in that area. So, when assigning tasks to a student the depth or rather broadness of that said assignment should be taken into consideration while assigning the research time period to it.
Often students tend to postpone their work in this area which is proved by a study done by Hussain and Sultan (2010) which shows that students procrastinate at a level of 87% when preparing and submitting their work due to the broadness of the subject area. Once a student, be it a university student, gets into such a situation with the heavy time constraint, they tend to develop the fear of not being able to complete it and develop a level of stress that eventually leads them to postpone their work. On the other hand, another factor that affects students is them being overconfident (Hussain & Sultan,2010). Hussain and Sultan (2010) according to their study have proven that 77% of students procrastinate due to overconfidence. This personality type has been outlined as “The Last Minuter” and at times can fall under the “The Know-It-All” (McMillan and Weyers, 2009, p.50). This student believes it to be an easy task to complete the assignment last moment as she/he believes they know it all whereas although they are under time constraints they have many journals or articles to refer. Once the student reaches the last moment he/she is maybe motivated but the quality of the submission may reduce drastically as they won’t be able to refer all the articles and research material they usually use.
This then leads to the student resorting to many unethical habits out of which some have been listed out by Hussain and Sultan (2010) in their research, such as; They tend to cheat and plagiarise which accounts to 66% and 77% respectively. These unethical means again result in the loss of self confidence and demotivation as students may have to redo their assignments (Hussain & Sultan,2010). Third reason identified for this behaviour would be lack of communication skills. Communication is a vital component when doing assignments as it could be in the form of verbal, non verbal or even informal to gather and improve assignment content. Lack of communication in our case should be evaluated from the student’s point of view. A student lacks communication skills due to many reasons. Mainly because at times the student may not understand the language or even maybe because the question is asking for something that the student has never heard of so cannot relate. This is one of the main reasons as to why at times the research material is specified.
Yet, because of the mind set that’s negative the student doesn’t seem to understand the material. This I believe is one of the biggest reasons as to why students delay their tasks. Maybe inherently they hesitate and fear speaking to unknown people (Hussain & Sultan,2010) so they don’t ask for feedback in order to begin their work and eventually delay their project till the last minute and then stress, get demotivated (Hussain & Sultan, 2010). This type of personality also can be seen in one of McMillan and Weyers (2009) personality types as “The Extension Seeker” who procrastinates till the last moment and seeks excuses to postpone the deadline thus resulting in putting him/herself in a state of stress.
Although Hussain and Sultan (2010) provided many more reasons, basically these main points cover the minor supporting points as they individually support to the above mentioned main points. The next paragraph shows the personal procrastination level one poses. This paragraph is based on the questionnaire that was done in order to identify the type of time manager one is. The questionnaire (self-assessment) was built in such a manner where we were to grade each statement a mark from one to four. Once it was completed the total has to be taken in order to identify which category you belong to from “Excellent Time Manager”, “Good Time Manager” or “Poor Time Manager”. After adding up the individual scores my questionnaire gave the result that I belong to the “Good Time Manager” category and I believe I am a good time manager. The path to being a good time manager wasn’t that easy of a task.
It was through the number of times I failed as a student that made me realize that I need to step up my game in order to be a successful student. It was one specific event that resulted in me failing two assignments at a stretch that made me follow the time management strategies I now follow. I mainly follow the two steps of setting reminders and following the planning and prioritizing methods. Its effects on me was all for the good as now I know when and where what should be done. As a person who was messy and unorganized, I started putting my mobile phone into proper use. I made sure that I had set reminders for deadlines and events in advance so that I won’t miss a deadline and I could work for that deadline in advance.
I also set artificial deadlines. For example, the final essay due date is the 21st of January 2018, but my reminder would be set for the 10th of January 2018 which gives me 11 days extra to gather feedback and improve its content. My second method is Listing and prioritizing. Here I would first list down my tasks to be done before the deadline. Then I would rank them according to urgency level and its importance. Changing the priorities as soon as new priorities are added are a bit tough for me at the moment but as a person who wants to constantly improve and reach the highest of my abilities, I am currently working on improving that flaw. Taking into account the past lessons I’ve learnt resulting from procrastinating and by adopting the time management skills listed above, I believe it has taught me to be the good time manager I am. Many are the methods of time management and it varies according to the personality of the person.
The next paragraph states a few methods as to how time management skills can be adopted to minimize procrastination as a university student. People differ from one another. That is why each and every one of us belongs to one of the sixteen personality types. McMillan and Weyers (2009) identifies a few personalities of that sort. This paragraph would like to give the reader a basic understanding on methods or techniques in which time can be managed. McMillan and Weyers (2009) in their book the “The smarter study skills companion” has listed out a few methods as to how we can manage time. Prioritizing, creating a timetable and using wall planners are a few methods selected for discussion. McMillan and Weyers (2009) has described prioritizing as an activity where the student breaks down the assignment into minor areas and and marks the tasks on a importance and urgency basis and setting a deadline to it at the same time.
As an example in this case we can take into consideration the Essay writing action plan provided by the moodle. It clearly allows us to break down the essay into small tasks and helps us keep track of work. This kind of a method would ideally suit the “The Juggler” and “The Stressed out non-starter” personality type according to McMillan and Weyers (2009). This is ideal for students who have a lot of activities in their basket and for those who stress out on activities even before they start work.
Secondly, we could implement a time table to manage our daily prioritized tasks. According to McMillan and Weyers (2009) a timetable is a prioritized document with time slots allocated to each task. The time table depends on the type of person you are. Either the time table could have equal time slots for all activities or according to the activity time slots may differ. Time tables are an ideal solution for those who fall in the category of “The Perfectionist” or even “The Juggler” so that they can allocate time slots to do each task in order to conquer the assignment in time. A time table helps us to stay organized and also helps us to work to a good routine.
Thirdly a wall planner is another method of putting into a chart the work you have done (McMillan & Weyers, 2009). It helps you to to see where you stand at the current moment unlike the other methods and helps build confidence in the student thus leading them to achieve greater. Also its helps to prevent overlapping of tasks in case the student has many tasks going on at the same time (McMillan & Weyers, 2009). Depending on the kind of person you are you could either maintain your planner online or hand-make your own one. These above methods of time management helps to encourage the student which could lead to increase in Academic relationship by 88% for a student (Hussain & Sultan, 2010).
Above mentioned are a few methods as to how one could manage time and keep one’s self organized and stress free. The next paragraph outlines the methods by which we could improve or maintain our current level time management.Every person be it at an exam, an answer submission would constantly prefer if their grades increase or at least remain the same level minus the decreasing. Mentioned in this paragraph are future implications that would help one to be successful and minimise procrastination.
Husain and Sultan (2010) did a research as to the remedial methods that could be implemented in order to improve one’s self and minimize procrastination as a student. For discussion, the methods of obtaining feedback, rewarding one’s self for their work completed accurately and lastly exploring on other methods of time management such as maintaining a diary. When it comes to completing assignments it is important for students to constantly ask and receive feedback either negative or positive as it helps to improve content of your assignment. Also receiving feedback has a great effect of 81% on a study when it comes to remedial measures of procrastination (Hussain & Sultan, 2010). Also another factor that motivates the students to do their activities well is reward. Rewards stimulate the mind to achieve more as it has something other than a grade to expect for.
Rewarding one’s self for completion of one’s work. This reduces the student’s potential of low achievement, stress and also could even take away a bit of their fear of examinations as they now they are motivated to achieve more even for reward sake (Hussain & Sultan, 2010). For example as a personal reward one could promise him/herself to go to the movies after completion of the draft of the final essay and showing it to the lecturer or at an academic level lecturers can promise to provide a “best essay” title that rewards students at the end. Lastly we have maintaining a diary. When it comes to activities like maintaining a diary student’s are often ashamed to accept this factor. According to McMillan and Weyers (2009), As far as getting tasks completed is the goal one of the most easiest method is the diary as it has the dates, days and holidays printed and provided which makes planning much easier.
One must always refer to such diaries when maintaining them to see the progress. When such progress is seen by the lecturer the students are encouraged and motivated to achieve greater thus leading them to a remedial measure of improvement of work and potential which accounts for 87%. Many other methods too can be implemented in order to manage your time effectively and minimise your level of procrastination. As a human being all of us have the side of us that procrastinates. It’s a natural occurrence. But, as responsible university students, we should take into account that it is in our hands to know the kind of person you are work to manage time accordingly.In conclusion, by now we can understand that and by considering the researches that have been done, procrastination affects university students at a greater proportion. It was discussed that depending on the person you are to choose your time management strategies and in return reduce your levels of stress, anxiety etc.
that could be caused as a result of not managing your time. This essay highlighted procrastination under the main points of how students procrastinate and its effects on them, a personal research done to identify the sort of time manager I am, strategies for time management and future implications.