Procrastination- the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Posted on Posted in Education, Student life

Have you ever heard about the term Procrastination? The answer is more likely to be NO.  Kidding, of course. You probably know much more about it than you think. 

Now, let’s us share what we know about Procrastination and how to compromise with it.

What is Procrastination?

Before going to the point, let’s have a quick self-check section first.

Have you ever started to study the last 2 days (or a couple of hours) before the exams? Have you had to write your thesis within a week before deadline while you had more than 6 months? Or have you failed in pursuing/ taking up a new hobby: playing guitar, writing a book?

And lastly, have you failed in almost every New Year’s resolution so far?

If your answers are yes for all then you are very likely to be a Procrastinator. To put it simply, procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something (until the very last minutes, or if not pressing – forever).

The Ugly Side of Procrastinators

Based on your own experience (providing you got yes for every questions above), and our simple explanation, procrastination appears to be quite a curse. It results in many bad outcomes, including but not limited to..
overdue deadline, bad performance (if you managed to be on time for deadline), stress & panics while working during the last minutes, failure to reach goals, and eventually a strong sense of guilt and regret.

The ugliest thing about procrastination is that you will need a trigger, or so called the the Panic Monster by Tim Urban in his blog and TED talk on Procrastination: Wait but Why. According to Tim, you only start your work when you feel the necessity and the danger of not doing so, and that’s Panic Monster.

Panic Monster will put you to work if only you are still scared of it. In other words, if you don’t see the Panic Monster or you aren’t scared of it, there is no way that can make you actually do something.

The Bad Effects on Our Health, Performance, and Self-confidence

When you are trying to accomplish thing within a short time, with stress of criticism and failure, you are likely to be unable to generate a good work, unless you are one heck of a lucky genius.

Then when you couldn’t achieve your expected goals for your work, you will probably feel distress and demotivated.
But once you’ve got something new, the circle starts again. 
If you got stuck in that circle for a long time, you would probably soon be worn out either of intensive works or stress. And that affects your health in a very bad way.

Besides, providing that you couldn’t manage to get any work productivity or missed a precious chance to shine, guilt and regret will eat your soul up. Sooner or later, you will lose your self-confidence in getting things done and doing things well.
All of those things are the reason why people criticise procrastination.

Transforming Procrastination into the Good Companion

According to Adam Grant, author of the New York Times, procrastination is somehow a source of creativity, and that many successful people are also a procrastinator, such as Steve Jobs,  Bill Clinton, Frank Llyod Wright, etc.

So how to deal with procrastination and turn it into the good buddy in our life?

Procrastination could be someone’s old habit, and so it is actually hard to change. But it is not impossible. There are methods to reset our mindset and train ourselves to be less procrastinating.

There are a couple of books addressing this matter in a more detailed explanation. Our time is too short to read them all, so our recommendation would be: Power of Habit (by Charles Duhigg), and Wait but Why Year One (Tim Urban). You can always check out their availability on They are totally worth reading, truly inspirational, insightful, and highly motivating. So do not postpone this, too!

Meanwhile, we’d to briefly share with a couple of tips and tricks to avoid the bad and the ugly sides of procrastination.

>> Planning things in advance effectively with clear achievable goals (starting from small and then making bigger progress) and rewards;

>> Breaking down big tasks into small, clear and manageable tasks;

>> Prioritize things while planning and MUST accomplish those priorities;

>> Repeating doing things as planned in order to turn it into our habit;

>> Mentally encourage yourself that you can do it;

>> Reminders with post-it note, digital calendar, etc.;

>> Ask for external helps and supports.

We hope to inspire you to try your best in not being a procrastination and getting things done well according to plan with this post.

And if you have some funny story about procrastination, or have some effective advise to share for others, please leave them in the comment box.