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Is Procrastination Truly Harmful?

By: Andy Chen

Students often brag about procrastinating, as if obtaining a high score with little preparation seems to be a mark of achievement and finesse. Stemming from this culture, adults and students’ behaviors often clash regarding procrastination, as teachers and parents constantly stress the importance of not putting off work, which students tend to ignore. Within this perpetual conflict, it’s easy to just choose a side without experiencing the other — when in fact, both arguments have their pros and cons.

The most typical form of procrastination is rooted in a sense of laziness and/or fear. This form of procrastination is almost always negative, as it causes stress and results in a piling up of unfulfilled obligations and responsibilities. The longer you avoid your problems through this form of procrastination, the more problems you’ll have in the long run, which can lead to burnout, a decrease in motivation, and oftentimes, sleep deprivation.

These factors also contribute to one of the most important consequences of this type of procrastination: poor performance. Naturally, as the amount of time until an assignment’s due date diminishes, students will start to rush, and this pressure often leads to a subpar product.

Despite these factors, procrastination can be useful for the success of a project in certain situations. While the pressure procrastinating puts on students can feel suffocating, it can also push students’ creativity to another level, forcing them to find an alternative or more unconventional option. Additionally, the time spent procrastinating can serve as a great time for students to think through an assignment’s prompt and find a unique, creative, or efficient way to complete said assignment.

With that being said, the process of procrastination should definitely be used scarcely, and only in certain situations; arranging your priorities and minimizing distractions can be a great way to control procrastination when the process is unnecessary. Sometimes — only when it doesn’t affect your health or the success of your assignment — it’s okay to procrastinate.

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