Whether you want to stop drinking, lose weight o accomplish another goal, no one solution works for everyone. You will have to try several different techniques, allowing yourself to go through a process of trial and error in order to achieve your goal. Everyone procrastinates! According to the University of Cambridge, procrastination is described as the “avoidance of doing a task which needs to be done – postponing until tomorrow what can be done today” (http://www. counselling. cam. ac. uk/selfhelp/leaflets/procrastination).
Procrastination not only affects a person’s work but also, is said to be associated with self-esteem, fear of failure, depression, inadequacy, guilt, anxiety and stress. Procrastination can be related to time management because procrastinators know exactly what they should be doing but instead revert to doing something they consider more important. We often put things off because we do not want to do them or simply because we have too many things on our plate. Putting things off, whether big or small reveals that we are all human. However, allowing procrastination to take over one’s life can ultimately lead to failure.
I have decided to focus on procrastination because it seems to be the rule that the newest generation lives by. I will focus on procrastination and how it affects me and I will in turn work on ways to correct this behavior. I would come home and talk about assignments that I have to do but would not attempt to get it done until the very last minute, allowing myself to be sentenced to unnecessary all-nighters. I am a lower junior in college and, with having so much experience in college; you would expect me to get my work completed in a timely manner but instead I believe I work best under pressure.
I decided to try to understand what make me procrastinate and what I gain from doing so. After recognizing the self-defeating behavior I had to come up with an intervention, I hope that I would have learned that by procrastinating, I am only limiting myself and that I am engaging in what is known as the self-handicapping strategy. I hope that after the intervention, I will no longer have fear of success, or anxiety when it comes to getting things done. I came up with a strategy for changing this behavior of procrastination.
I identify that procrastination is indeed a problem that I struggle with. Once the problem was identified, I state a goal that I would like to accomplish and then state specific behaviors that I would need to employ in order to reach the goal. For example, I would like to get my paper done two weeks before the due date so that I can gain feedback from the professor. Therefore, I decided to set up a schedule where I start the assignment a little at a time each week that my schedule would not be too drastic, and I might risk the chance burning myself out and dropping this new program all together.
I began to keep track of reasons why I procrastinate, what other things I find more important, what activities I feel I am missing if I do not procrastinate and the consequences in which result as of procrastination. I will document what happens when I start an assignment or study early, and how I feel etc. I decided to modify the behavior of procrastination by using reinforcement. I came up with a list of things I enjoy and decided to use these events as reinforcer like watching TV, shopping online, playing games on the computer and hanging out and having fun with my family and friends.
I wanted this to be a permanent goal so my sub-goal is to develop a flexible plan. For each assignment that I start before the due date and each accomplishment that I make, I will receive a reinforcer. Before I started the intervention, I taught I worked well under procrastination. Adjustment may be made as needed. I found that once I started the assignment a little at a time, I was eventually left with more time to do the other things that I had to do and that I was less stressed because I did not have a significant amount of work piled up until the last minute.
However, after this experiment, I realized I worked well because I had no other choice but to complete the assignment. I realized that when I started my assignments before hand, I was able to give more effort and work to the best of my ability because I had enough time to complete it. To accomplish a goal u need to analyze your behavior and then set sub-goal to achieve them, motivation, social support, self- improvement, positive attitude and will power.
Some obstacles that may hinder my progress are I want to watch TV, do not have enough time; I prefer to be on face book, twitter, you tube or checking my e-mail, I want to hang out with my friends and family. Therefore, I decided to sign a contract and remind myself that this is significant to me. I was more involved in everything else instead of getting my assignment or study done. I had to set exact days and time to get my work done. Being in charge of my life and I had time to do everything that I need and want to do even peace of mind.
Positive reinforces are “favorable events or outcomes that are presented after the behavior” (http://psychology. about. com/od/behavioralpsychology/a/introopcond. htm). Positive reinforcement worked best because I was able to add something in order to increase the desired behavior and allowed myself to focus on the positive aspects of my situation. It’s a long process and I’m learning that things can change only if you want it to change. I know with time, dedication and motivation this intervention can be successful. Procrastination is sometimes the most unproductive habit that many individual possess.
Its energy is so huge that it can obstruct individuals from being successful in their career, personal life, work and life in general. Therefore, by finding what causes procrastination and start by trying to eliminating the destructiveness it can create so we can live a much healthy, happy and successful life.
Introduction to Operant Conditioning Psychology (n. d. ). Retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://www. psychology. about. com/od/behavioralpsychology/a/introopcond. htm Procrastination University Counseling Service. (n. d. ). Retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://www. counseling. com. as. uk/selfhelp/leaflets/procrastination