Can Procrastination Lead to Achievement?

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Can Procrastination Lead to Achievement?

Rae Malik

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Procrastination can be traced back to Greek origins from theorists such as Aristotle and Socrates. Back then, it was referred to as not doing something with logical and reasoning even though it is good for an individual. It also meant going against one’s own will and having an absence of willpower. Similarly, procrastination is described as avoiding or stalling of an act of responsibility or assignment.

The reasoning behind procrastination has to do with the psychology of the human brain. The human brain enjoys instant benefits rather than waiting for benefits from future activities.

One way to interpret this is by imagining that an individual is making a goal such as learning the language French. The individual set that goal for themselves in the future so they can enjoy the benefits in the future. However, the individual is living in the present time and their present self-does not find it useful to do something that their future self would benefit from.

“If students do not look at the assignment until the day before it is due, procrastination will likely backfire because you have given yourself less time, not more, to brainstorm,” Social Studies teacher Sara Ibs said.

Procrastination used to have a positive connotation during classical Greek and Roman era where the most powerful people would just meet and do nothing during their meeting. During the movement of Puritanism, in which work ethic was rewarded and highly regarded that caused the word procrastination to have a negative connotation.

“I don’t like to procrastinate because it stresses me out. I would rather do what I need to get done ahead of time,” junior Sarah Nelson said.

According to social psychology researchers at Hefei University of Technology Yu Xie, Jiyu Yang, and Faxiang Chen, procrastination depends heavily on the mindset of the individual. A student who tends to set high expectations upon themselves is inclined to do their homework and assignments when it is due. On the other hand, students who tend to put unrealistic expectations upon themselves end up procrastinating and not doing assignments when they are due.

Psychology researchers at the University of Delhi, Sujit R. Tripathi, Pragyendu, Arshiya Kochar, and Prakhar Dara measured hope among students. The measurement of hope, which was goals that students had set, allowed them to get a better understanding of procrastination among students in Delhi University. The study showed that students who had goals in mind which was called hope were able to make a plan for ways to achieve them and had lower rates of procrastination.

According to Professor Jihae Shin at University of Wisconsin, procrastination allows for more fresh and inventive ideas since the brain is able to drift while someone procrastinated. His survey assessed employees at a company and how often an employee would procrastinate then asking their boss how creative that person was. He discovered that employees who would play computer games for a few minutes before submitting ideas were about a third more percent creative than the those who did not.

“I like to procrastinate because it helps me get things done faster since I end up doing them better when I am in a time crunch,” said junior Avalon Johnson.

However, throughout history procrastinate has actually been proven to be beneficial since it makes people likely to be more creative with their ideas. Martin Luther King’s most well-known speech “I have a dream” was not revised months in advance but instead moments before. This allowed him to be more innovative while he was giving his speech because he was able to be more creative as he had not rehearsed beforehand.

Another figure in history who was known for procrastinating was Leonardo Da Vinci. He spent many years procrastinating while working on the famous painting known as the Mona Lisa. In his journals, he stated how he felt guilty and unsuccessful because of how easily he would get distracted. However, when he was distracted he would focus on how light affects a painting which in the end caused him to become a much more sophisticated artist.

There are always chores or responsibilities that need to be dealt with. It can be easy to feel guilty about procrastinating but instead try to think about the benefits of it because it can actually push the more innovative and creative thoughts.

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