Types of procrastination
Procrastination involves various problems, such as the formation of intentions, the performance and control of actions, and difficulties in accessing one’s 'inner self'. There are different forms of procrastination. Probably the most common type is the 'avoidance procrastinator'. This includes the attempt to cope with unpleasant feelings associated with the project, which above all serves to protect self-esteem. These feelings arise for example from unclear priorities, poor organisation and aversion to tasks, but also from perfectionism and fears. Hypotheses like tomorrow will certainly go better! or I still have plenty of time! Characterise this type. Another type is the 'kick procrastinator'. In this case the procrastination literally becomes a lifestyle feature. The panic mode is always sought out by those affected and enjoyed accordingly.
Procrastination is a symptom whose cause is to be sought in the area of one’s own personality. Actions that are generally regarded as important or important are substituted by less important ones. Procrastination is a bad habit that is reinforced by resorting to more pleasant activities. Procrastination is accompanied by numerous stress symptoms such as paralysing self-attention, compulsive evasion or excessive self-criticism.
The new semester has just begun and Jan is again completely overtaxed. Although he is already studying in the 5th semester, the start causes him some problems every year. Especially the preparation of the timetable presents him with major challenges, because according to the study plan he would have to attend four lectures, three seminars and one language course this semester. It is just too bad that one important lecture and one seminar overlap and that he missed the registration for a seminar he absolutely wanted to attend, because he had to take care of all university matters during the holidays.
After fighting his way through the first two weeks, and now that the timetable has been set, but does not correspond to Jan’s original ideas, he would have to face up to his next obligations: the preparation of papers for the seminars. But the stress of the first few weeks is draining his strength. That is why he allows himself a break of several weeks, whose activities consist mainly of meeting friends on the university meadow or making the numerous cafés and bars of the three-river city unsafe. The presentations are long forgotten, because luckily Jan was able to get hold of two of the popular presentations at the end of the semester. Only towards the end of June is he reminded of the unpopular topic of the lecture, when a fellow student contacts him, who eventually turns out to be his partner in the lecture. In nightly hard work, the two manage to finish the lecture in time, even if the quality suffers. Jan also masters the next lecture, which takes place two days after the first one, rather poorly than quite rightly.
Now the hot phase of the semester begins: the examination phase. Not yet restored by the preparation of the two papers, four exams are now waiting for him – the first of them in four days. The second exam also takes place only three days after the first. Panic is spreading inside Jan. Despite working several night shifts, Jan, against all odds, is not able to keep up with the material abundance of the semester. He has to repeat a lecture and the results of the other three exams do not even meet his own expectations. He knows that he could have achieved much better results with a little more effort and structure ...
As the situation was described by Jan, many students feel the same way. Everyday student life requires a high degree of self-management and self-organisation. Particularly after the introduction of the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, students are confronted with a multitude of tasks: preparing the timetable, managing and mastering the numerous examinations and, last but not least, acquiring key qualifications that set them apart from the others. The requirements are complex and manifold. In addition, the 'normal' life with its minor and major difficulties is also waiting. The competence of self-organisation is therefore of extraordinary importance. But many students have a similar experience as Jan – they suffer from procrastination.