College students have a lot of freedom, but it’s not very structured. This is bad for habitual procrastinators. Research shows that at least half of college students procrastinate to levels that are potentially harmful to their education.
But this may not be the only negative result of procrastinating.Research is procrastination and sicklyIt’s associated with higher levels of stress, an unhealthy lifestyle, and delays in seeing a doctor for health problems.
However, these studies, by the nature of their design, cannot provide direction for the relationship. or delay seeing a doctor for a health problem? Or vice versa? For example, if you are in poor physical health, do you procrastinate because you don’t have the energy to do the work?
To solve this riddle, we conducted a longitudinal study. That is, a study that tracks people for a period of time, taking measurements at different points in the study. She recruited 3,525 students from her eight universities in and around Stockholm and asked them to complete a survey every three months for a year.
our studywas published at JAMA Network Open with the aim of investigating whether procrastinating students are at increased risk for impaired mental and physical health. Of his 3,525 students recruited, 2,587 completed a follow-up questionnaire nine months after him, and several health outcomes were measured.
To understand how procrastination is related to subsequent health outcomes, we compared students who were more likely to procrastinate (scored on a procrastination scale) at the beginning of the study to those who were less likely to procrastinate. Results showed that higher levels of procrastination were associated with slightly higher symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress nine months later.
Students with higher levels of procrastination were also more likely to report shoulder and arm (or both) disability pain, poor sleep quality, loneliness, and financial difficulties. These associations remained even after considering other factors that might influence the association, such as age, gender, parental education level, and previous physical and psychological diagnoses.
No specific health outcomes were strongly associated with procrastination, but the results suggest that procrastination is important for a wide range of health outcomes, including mental health problems, pain in disabled people, and unhealthy lifestyles. suggests that it is possible.
As mentioned above, in previous studies, participants were only assessed at one point in time, so it was difficult to know which condition, such as procrastination or worsening health, occurred first. By asking participants to complete questionnaires at several time points, we were able to confirm that high levels of procrastination were present before measuring their health status.
However, it is still possible that other factors not accounted for in our analysis could explain the association between procrastination and subsequent worsening of health. Our results do not prove causality. suggests more strongly than previous ‘cross-sectional’ studies.
Good news for procrastinators. clinical trials (the gold standard in medical research) shows that cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in reducing procrastination.
This therapy involves breaking down long-term goals into short-term goals, managing distractions (such as turning off your cell phone), and staying focused on your work even when you experience negative emotions. helps you overcome procrastination.
This takes some effort and is not something a person can do trying to meet a specific deadline. But even small changes can have a big impact. You can try it yourself. Start by leaving your phone in another room when you need to focus on work.