White Paper – Kevin Buttari

Kevin Buttari

1- Procrastination is a large part of countless students’ lives and work methods.  It is responsible for a seemingly endless number of great papers, projects and assignments that are turned in just before class.  However, for something so common and widely used, it is frowned upon by teachers and parents everywhere.  If looked at from a more scientific and logical perspective, procrastination can actually be a very useful and practical tool.

2- Although it is opposed by countless teachers and parents, procrastination, if used correctly, is a very useful tool when completing assignments.  In this paper, I’ll be defending procrastination’s (more specifically, active procrastination’s) use in schools.

3- On the surface, procrastination can appear to be a very counter-productive habit.  Frequent procrastinators have been described as having “poor time management skills”. Procrastination is not only very helpful (and not at all counter-productive), but also a great way to use time.  Active procrastination (see the second link below) is a very useful work habit that allows a person to relax in a stress-free environment, without having to worry about the procrastinated assignment.  It also allows people to take advantage of the benefits of working under pressure  Procrastination can also be one of the best ways to juggle time.  Obviously, people don’t want to write a paper at night when they could be hanging out with friends.  If the assignment is put off until the next day, before class, the paper can be written while everyone else is either in class or still asleep.  It makes the writing process significantly less painful for the writer.

4- I’ve seen plenty of articles against procrastination saying that it is bad, and that people shouldn’t do it.  Most are backed up with what was mentioned above (it’s very unproductive and it shows bad time management), but some even go so far as to say that procrastination is a psychological problem, and others alienate procrastinators as if they’re somehow different from the rest of us.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200308/procrastination-ten-things-know

On a side note, the two psychologists interviewed are not procrastinators, which can take away from their credibility on the topic being as they never actually experienced the topic they’re discussing.

5- In the spirit of the paper, I will be procrastinating as much as possible to help prove my point.  I have however, looked over a few sources against procrastination so I’ll have something to refute in my paper.  I also have been periodically pondering/researching reasons why procrastination is good (usually while putting off doing this assignment).

Sources:

1- Ten Things To Know About Procrastination

Procrastination is a major problem that people face.  They prevent themselves from accomplishing anything from homework to paying bills, to going to the gym, to doing homework.  Procrastinators have little to no time management skills.  In order to procrastinate, procrastinators will lie to themselves or find distractions to put off the task at hand.  (These are not my own views)

The article links procrastination to a very deep psychological problem, which I believe, is a gross over complication of procrastination.  It makes procrastinators out to be people that accomplish absolutely nothing at all.

2-The Secret Benefits of Procrastination

This reviews some of the history of procrastination.  Ancient Egypt and Rome believed procrastination was “useful and wise.”  It also addresses that there are two forms of procrastination; active, and passive.  Active procrastination, which is what my paper will be encouraging, is the systematic delay of a task.  Passive procrastination is, simply put, laziness.  It’s also the type the first article adressess.  The article also pitches that theory of continuous procrastination.  It proposes that when we don’t procrastinate a task, we end up procrastinating everything that we would’ve done had we procrastinated the task in the first place.

3- Working Under Pressure

When I looked this over, I found only the first 20 or so slides to be somewhat useful (by the way, it’s a slideshow).  It explains the pros and cons involved with working under pressure, something that goes hand in hand with procrastination.  When we work under pressure, we tend to enter a much more focused mental state.  People become more motivated about the task and can block out outside distractions to zero in on the task at hand.

4- Can Procrastination Ever Be a Good Thing?

This article leads with a great explanation to why active procrastinators procrastinate.  Active procrastinators enjoy the rush of getting things done just in time, and, as an active procrastinator, I can confirm that (for me at least) this is entirely true.  Procrastination can motivate a person to accomplish a task by giving time to relieve some stress and anxiety.  Procrastinating also adds a chance that the task/issue will dissolve on it’s own, or with the help of a third party becoming involved.

5- Characteristics of a Procrastinator

This article gives a brief overview of how a procrastinator operates (or how the author believes they operate).  Procrastinators have a sense of optimism towards the task and think they will have enough time to complete it (according to the article, they never do).  This leads to the writing of a subpar paper.  If the procrastinator receives a good score on it, the habit will become reinforced and the procrastinator will feel a range of feelings such as pride, scorn, and guilt.

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9 Responses to White Paper – Kevin Buttari

  1. justinbaker2007 says:

    Hey Kevin. What you can do to aid you in the beginning stages is find my statistics. Also, you could find studies done by psychologists who actually do procrastinate. I can’t wait to see how this paper will turn out, as I am a procrastinator too.

  2. oconne92 says:

    1. Some good points, for a paper you should expand on ideas like why people frown upon it.
    2. Why? This is a good thesis but expand upon it more.
    3. some good stuff here, good examples but you say “Both of these statements are totally wrong.” with only mentioning the “poor time management skills”. This is confusing unless you meant to add “procrastination seems useless on the surface and very counter-productive.” in which case I’d make that more clear
    4. some good points, maybe expand on the psychologists input
    5. ha just make sure you get it done

  3. jodidziedzic says:

    1) “It is responsible for a seemingly endless number of papers, projects and assignments.” It is responsible for an endless number of paper, projects and assignments….. blank. Responsible for them being late?
    I wish you went deeper into this “logical” way of procrastinating. There has got to be more background information on why people choose to procrastinate, or maybe how often people procrastinate as opposed to doing their work when it’s assigned. I look forward to see how you bulk this part up.

    2) “Procrastination gets a terrible reputation even though it is very useful and almost essential to students everywhere.”
    You must realize how broad of a statement this is; especially because you’re speaking for “students everywhere” who may not particularly apply to this claim. Also, I don’t think you need to mention that it “gets a terrible reputation” because most students and teachers or anyone reading this who knows enough about homework, should be aware that procrastination is not necessarily beneficial.

    3) “Both of these statements are totally wrong.” This sounds very forceful.
    “If you put off the assignment till the next day before class, the paper can be written while everyone else is busy with class when there is nothing else to do. This makes writing seem a lot less painful because it can be done with out thinking about missing out on socializing/relaxing with friends.” This is all actually a really good point, I think, because students can relate to that feeling knowing they’re missing out because of homework.

    4) You should go deeper into the psychology of why people procrastinate.

  4. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Kevin, here’s a thought. Procrastination is absolutely universal and altogether human because we’re all doing it all day, every day. We may not all put off the same chore, but the very nature of prioritizing our lives means we’re always delaying something. By doing my homework on time, I’d be delaying working on my taxes. Early tax filers will call me a procrastinator, but actually, I was working hard to be early with everything except my taxes. Not to mention, if I had done both ahead of schedule, I would have had to put off building stronger relationships with my family, or inventing that app the world so badly needs, or what-have-you.

    While that’s amusing (I hope) and might make a fun little diversion, the really counterintuitive angle would be that highly efficient people might have learned (or be guided by instinct) to put off the chores that can actually be done most efficiently with a tight deadline looming.

    Your suggestion that writers aren’t actually procrastinating at all but are passively ruminating and developing is probably true for most writers who don’t want to deliver a half-formed fetus. Have you noticed we never blame a pregnant woman for waiting nine whole months before she finally starts pushing?

    One thing is certain: when others accuse us of procrastination, they most likely have different priorities than ours. They just don’t know that we’re doing everything in its own time.

  5. kmbuttari says:

    Hey, I updated this…yeah

  6. kmbuttari says:

    Hey I can I get this regraded?

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