Academic procrastination is a situation where people postpone academic assignment, school project, examination, interview or other academic programmes. It is very common among students and academic professionals, particularly in today’s technology age where most students in secondary and tertiary institutions now receive lectures online.
In most cases, it is caused by lack of self control on a particular addictive behaviour e.g. internet or social media addiction, online gaming, watching of videos, sleeping etc. Advancement of technology, particularly the invention of high tech devices and social networking apps have contributed to the prevalence of academic procrastination among students and academic professionals.
There is no doubt that academic procrastination has a lot of negative impacts on academic performance or achievement. Research by experts revealed that addiction to the internet and social networking sites had contributed to the prevalence of academic procrastination in the present digital age.
Academic procrastination is a very dangerous phenomenon in today’s digital age, as many students now spend several hours online, watching their favourite videos, chatting with their online friends, listening to their favourite music, watching their favourite football match, commenting on trending news and videos etc. without minding the consequences it has on their academic performance.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), 80% to 90% of college students procrastinate, particularly when it comes to doing their coursework.
However, to win the war against academic procrastination in today’s digital age, we need to identify the common causes, effects and lasting solutions.
Common causes of academic procrastination:
1. Addiction to internet or social media.
2. Addiction to pornographic materials.
3. Lack of self control
4. Addiction to watching videos.
5. Addiction to music.
6. Lack of proper orientation about academic procrastination.
Effects of academic procrastination:
1. Failure in examination.
2. Dropping out of school.
3. Guilt and regret.
4. Inferiority complex.
6. Low academic performance.
7. In some cases it may lead to suicide attempt.
Lasting solutions to academic procrastination:
1. Admit that you have the problem.
2. Identify the cause of the problem.
3. Think about the consequences.
4. Ask God for help.
5. Be determined to address the situation.
6. Be optimistic that you will get over it.
7. Reduce the time you spend on social media.
8. Be disciplined about internet usage.
9. Avoid anything that distracts you from your academic programmes.
10. Reduce the number of your online friends.
11. Create to-do list for your daily activities.
12. Don’t postpone any academic assignment or project.
13. Choose a data plan that will not have negative impact on your academic programmes.
14. Avoid watching pornographic materials online.
15. If all your efforts to overcome academic procrastination fail, contact a counselor for help.