Procrastination is something that most people have at least a little experience with. Chances are that you have found yourself frittering away hours on trivial pursuits (watching TV, updating your Facebook status, shopping online) when you should have been spending that time on work or school-related projects, no matter how well-organized and committed you are. Procrastination can have a major impact on your job, your grades, and your life, whether you're putting off finishing a project for work, avoiding homework assignments, or ignoring household chores. We all procrastinate at some time or another, and researchers suggest that the problem can be particularly pronounced among students. An estimated 25 to 75 percent of college students procrastinate on academic work. One 2007 study found that particularly when it came to completing assignments and coursework, a whopping 80 to 95 percent of college students procrastinated on a regular basis. A 1997 survey found that procrastination was one of the top reasons why Ph.D. candidates failed to complete their dissertations. There are some major cognitive distortions that lead to academic procrastination, according to Ferrari, Johnson, and McCown. You can probably recall a few times in the past that the same sort of logic has led you to put things off until later.

Psychology of procrastination

Remember that time that you thought you had a week left to finish a project that was really due the next day? How about the time you decided not to clean up your apartment because you "didn't feel like doing it right now." Often we assume that projects won't take as long to finish as they really will, which can lead to a false sense of security when we believe that we still have plenty of time to complete these tasks. One of the biggest factors contributing to procrastination is the notion that we have to feel inspired or motivated to work on a task at a particular moment. If you wait until you're in the right frame of mind to do certain tasks (especially undesirable ones), you will probably find that the right time simply never comes along and the task never gets completed – that is the reality. Self-doubt can also play a major role. You might find yourself putting it off in favor of working on other tasks when you are unsure of how to tackle a project or insecure in your abilities. It's not just students who fall into the "I'll do it later" trap. According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of Still Procrastinating. These people don't just procrastinate occasionally; it's a major part of their lifestyle. They pay their bills late, don't start work on big projects until the night before the deadline, delay holiday shopping until Christmas Eve, and even file their income tax returns late. Not only can procrastination have a negative impact on your health; it can also harm your social relationships. You are placing a burden on the people around you by putting things off.