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Why do we procrastinate? – Beaufort South Carolina The Island News



Background to the Study

Procrastination (from Latin’s “procrastinare“, that translates in to: the prefix pro-, ‘forward’, and suffix –crastinus, ’till next day’ from cras, ‘tomorrow’) is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. Sometimes, procrastination takes place until the “last minute” before a deadline. Procrastination can take hold on any aspect of life—putting off cleaning the stove, repairing a leaky roof, seeing a doctor or dentist, submitting a job report or academic assignment or broaching a stressful issue with a partner. Procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression and self-doubt.[1]

We are all guilty of procrastinating at some point or other; no one is a stranger to it, right? Some of us might be lucky enough to identify it in time and still do something about it. Unfortunately for others, it steals dreams and can even destroy lives.The reason people procrastinate varies from person to person and is not always obvious. Sometimes it is a hidden fear that people don’t want to acknowledge, or it could even be as simple as not wanting to do something because it just doesn’t motivate us. Whatever the reason may be, procrastination has far more damaging effects than you may realize.[2]

Procrastination has always been a challenge that all people has faced at one point at a time. It is described as the act of delaying or postponing a task that is needed to be done in a span of time. A study suggests that are various types of procrastination (such as academic/non-academic or behavioral/indecisive) have their own underlying causes and effects. The behavior and attitude of the student towards the requirement affects their productivity thus affecting their academic performance.

Procrastination is also one of the most common and unpleasant trait of the Filipinos. The Mañana Habit has existed since the Spanish colonization. It started when the Spanish dubbed the Filipinos as “Lazy workers” and is one of the reasons why the folklore “Juan Tamad” was created.  Filipino habit is a negative attitude where they tend to say “Mamaya Na” in the things they think is difficult so they prioritize it less. As time management and productivity are the main keys in an academic performance, then procrastination can be one of the most common problem of a student. Procrastination in academic situations is a very common phenomena. In a study done by Schouwenburg, Lay, Pychyl, Ferrari (2004), it shows that 70% of the university students report procrastination as being characteristic to their academic activities. Psychologists often attribute procrastination as a coping mechanism against the anxiety we experience when faced with a difficult or unwanted task. As an excuse, we find distractions to make ourselves “busy” and rationalize that these tasks are not time-critical and can be done tomorrow or much later. This habit can lead to poor time management. It would affect the student’s academic performance therefore causing stress. However, a study found the more general benefit of procrastination is the environment created by an imminent deadline. The air of feverish excitement and pressure that results when a deadline looms can, arguably, enhance performance (Ferrari, 1992; Tice & Baumeister, 1997). Moreover, some view deadlines as the ultimate motivator, without which they cannot perform effectively (Amabile, DeJong, & Lepper, 1976). Rather than working on a task inefficiently long before the deadline, waiting until the deadline approaches potentially directs their focus and forces them to be disciplined and efficient at the task at hand (Tice & Baumeister, 1997)

Many studies find that academic procrastination is negatively related to academic performance. However, other studies fail to find any association. This research aims to investigate the effects of procrastination on the academic performance of the senior high school students of Lagos High School. It also aims to determine if procrastination is a helpful or not.


H1: Procrastination would drive the students to be more productive and innovative given that they would do a certain task under pressure therefore boosting their academic performance.

H2: Procrastination would lead to production of poor products like school projects or paper works therefore leading to a poor academic performance.

[1]Jane B. Burka & Lenora M. Yuen. Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now (Boston, Massachusetts: Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2008), 336




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