Procrastination is quite a common, some might even say unavoidable “disease” in the academic world. Even though it is perceived by many to be a problem most affecting college students, in reality procrastinators are found at every level of seniority. In fact, many remarkable people were affected by this phenomenon.
One of them, Nobel Prize winner George Akelrof, devoted a significant part of his research to procrastination after recognizing a procrastinator in himself – he realized that it is much more than just a productivity breaker, and can reveal a lot about rational thinking.
Now procrastination is an academic field in itself and the origins of this phenomenon can be easily explained from the scientific point of view. In economics terms, it results from a so-called “hyperbolic discounting”, where short-term considerations of individuals overtake their long-term goals. Psychologists explain it as a gap between the effort, which needs to be undertaken at this very moment, and a reward, which will be obtained in the future only.
Despite the negative connotation, some researchers claim that even though you can not cure procrastination, it can be good for you, and it is just a matter of how you deal with it and what type of procrastinator you are. Some say that you can even procrastinate productively in a structured way. Read more