16 Explore Causes and Solutions for Procrastination

In the video below, you will have the opportunity to explore the causes and solutions for procrastination in greater detail. This video also encourages you to commit to change. After watching the video, click the next section arrow to make your commitment.



Video Transcript: Exploring Procrastination

Hi there. It’s Marti from the KPU Learning Centres. Thanks for joining me for a chat about procrastination, an “all-too-common” problem for university students and also for others who have high demands on their time. Sometimes I think that procrastinators are completely average and normal and why would we ever want to change that? But when I help students with this problem I notice what a difference it makes in their lives, so that’s my motivation for talking to you about this today. I do not want to make light of procrastination because that is what I see so many people do. It really is a significant problem that can lead to distress and much poorer outcomes. It makes potential A students drop to Bs, Cs or lower. It really is not funny.

What is procrastination really? According to Steel (2007) procrastination is “to delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.” Why would we want to do that if we know we will be worse off? I think there are many reasons why we procrastinate, perhaps as many as there are procrastinators, but having talked to many of you about this problem there seem to be common themes. You may procrastinate because you are not sure how to do it, or because it is not an interesting or motivating task for you. Maybe you fear failure or you may fear being too successful. Some procrastinate because it is just more fun to do something else and it is difficult to study or to write a paper.


We will take a good look at actions you can take to overcome some of these challenges.

  1. If you are not sure how to do it, look for ways to develop your skills in those uncertain areas. For example you could make an appointment with a math or accounting tutor, or make an appointment with a writing tutor. You could visit the librarian on the research desk to find good sources for your paper or you could make an appointment with a learning strategist.
  2. If you are feeling not interested or unmotivated, take a “just do it” attitude and reward yourself when you are done. After all, is it reasonable to expect that everything in your life will be fun and interesting? Anyone who has truly mastered a skill or a subject put in some hard work to master it, and you need to do that too. As you think of your long-term goals, will this course help you to achieve them? Will this course change your thinking and expand your view?
  3. If you fear failing or doing too well and then having high expectations placed on you over the long term, consider whether the standards you are setting for yourself are realistic. What does success really mean to you? Everyone’s values are diverse and you need to have values that resonate with your world view. If you do not know how to sort this out, meet with a learning strategist to talk it through.

Let’s make a commitment to make a change. From the ideas presented, what can you do? Write it down. Now make a commitment of a date by which you will complete this action.

If you would like some more help with your procrastination problem, please take a look at the second procrastination. I talk about a neat way to support you on your journey to do more work and less procrastination.

Have a great day!


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Time Management for Busy Students Copyright © 2018 by Kwantlen Polytechnic University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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