Skip to main content
main-content
Top

About this book

Provides research based advice and practical suggestions to help students beat procrastination and perform better at university or college. Written by a recent graduate, the author gives students a chance to explore the root causes of procrastination and some of the best ways of eliminating it. With a combination of theory, practice, and case study stories and tips from other students, this book will help students seize the date and get more work done.

Table of Contents

The Four Ps of Procrastination

Frontmatter

1. Probability of Payoff

Abstract
Do you lack the necessary skills and confidence in your work? Does making an effort seem meaningless? Or perhaps fear of failure and perfectionism have paralysed you from making a start. Whatever the case, this chapter will help you understand how and why these factors contribute to procrastination.
Michael Tefula

2. Pursuit of Pleasure

Abstract
We are hardwired to take more interest in immediate gratification. The more impulsive we are, the more we give in to such temptations. Boredom also plays a role and makes it harder for to us persist in our academic efforts. This chapter considers these issues and how they are linked to procrastination.
Michael Tefula

3. Prevention of Pain

Abstract
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the work ahead that you took solace in putting it off for as long as possible, even if this meant you would have less time and more pressure to do it? This chapter explores this notion and why we procrastinate so much when faced with new and challenging academic work.
Michael Tefula

4. Postponement of Punishment (or Payoff)

Abstract
We sometimes find it easy to have fun at the expense of tomorrow precisely because the negative consequences of doing so are often delayed. Likewise, working hard today is difficult because the payoff for doing so is rarely immediate. This chapter will discuss this phenomenon and show how it is linked to putting things off.
Michael Tefula

How to Beat Procrastination

Frontmatter

5. Competence and Confidence

Abstract
Having the skills required to successfully complete a task and the belief that you can do so can be a powerful way of alleviating the maladies of the first P of procrastination. This chapter will offer insights on how to increase your competence, self-efficacy and confidence. In doing so, you will be able to better deal with procrastination that stems from not being sure about yourself.
Michael Tefula

6. Motivation

Abstract
Motivation is a self-evident solution to reducing procrastination. But what exactly drives us to do our work? This chapter will briefly explore key motivation theories and provide pragmatic steps you can to take to harness the power of your interests, drive and incentives.
Michael Tefula

7. Willpower

Abstract
You must dig deep for self-control and discipline to start your work early. Likewise, the power to say no to all manner of distractions is vital if you are to persevere in your academic efforts. This chapter provides suggestions and insights as to how you can build your willpower muscles and also offers alternatives for when such reserves are depleted.
Michael Tefula

8. Focus and Attention

Abstract
Willpower can help fend off disruptions as you attempt to work. But there are also other measures that can serve you well. This chapter will explore strategies that involve your environment, body and mind, and engagement. In these areas you will find more ways of curbing harmful levels of procrastination.
Michael Tefula

9. Goals and Planning

Abstract
Without a clear sense of direction and knowing exactly what it is you need to do, it is very easy to freeze in indecisiveness. This chapter, therefore, looks at ways that goals and planning can help you direct your efforts better to avoid falling prey to some of the procrastination pitfalls.
Michael Tefula

10. Counterintuitive Strategies

Abstract
The last five chapters shared insights on big themes that help address the most common forms of putting things off. However, there are times when you will need to be even more creative in your approach. This closing chapter aims to provide you with examples that can inspire you to think up your own ways of uniquely minimising procrastination.
Michael Tefula

11. Conclusion

Abstract
Student procrastination takes many forms, but in the first part of the book we homed in on the four underlying categories of factors that frequently lead to the habit. For ease of memory these were described as the Four Ps of Procrastination. In essence, we procrastinate for one of the following reasons:
1
Probability of Payoff — Uncertainty about success.
 
2
Pursuit of Pleasure — Giving in to tempting disruptions.
 
3
Prevention of Pain — Avoiding work because it is tough or cumbersome.
 
4
Postponement of Punishment (or Payoff) — Delayed consequences kill urgency.
 
Michael Tefula
Additional information