Rebuttal Essay – Kevin Buttari

Hara Morano, a writer for “Psychology Today,” published a quite convincing article entitled “Procrastination: Ten Things To Know.”  While the article makes some good points, the majority of the claims in the argument are false.  The “Ten Things To Know,” are all anti-procrastination and try to demonize procrastinators.  Thankfully, The article is written in a numbered list form which will make its refutation very simple to break down.

Point one states that 20% of people identify as a chronic procrastinator, and that procrastination interferes with all aspects of their lives.  They don’t pay bills on time, forget to cash checks, and always do very last minute shopping.  This is a statement made about 20% of the population.  While it is true that about a fifth of the populous would claim to be a procrastinator, saying that each and ever single one of them is an incredibly unhealthy passive procrastinator is absurd.  All that is needed to debunk this is a procrastinator or two that can still pay bills, and do other similar tasks on time.  My roommate and I are those needed procrastinators.  The two of us are serious procrastinators, and almost always put things off until the last minute, yet we very rarely miss a due date.

The second point makes three claims: Procrastination isn’t regarded seriously enough, procrastination is a problem of self-regulation, and society enables procrastinators.  Procrastination isn’t looked at as a serious problem because it isn’t a serious problem.  It’s just a different, usually much better way to accomplish things.  It is not a self-regulation problem because, when done well, is the best possible way to juggle time between finishing work and relaxing.  It allows one to balance out relaxation, whether it be surfing the web or playing sports, and working on an assignment, without any interference between the two.  Society isn’t enabling procrastination just because giving people the benefit of the doubt isn’t frowned upon.  It could be a great argument for why people shouldn’t always believe everything they’re told, but an article against procrastination, it is not.

The third point I actually agree with.  Procrastination is not a time management problem at all.  Good procrastinators actually have great time management skills which allows them to plan out when to work and when not to.

Point four and five aren’t all that relevant to this argument so they won’t be touched on.

Six provides some good points, but overall, it doesn’t provide a totally correct argument.  To use myself as an example again, it is true that most of the time I’ll tell myself that an assignment isn’t important.  I barely ever feel like doing anything and frequently tell myself that I’ll do it later.  As for working under pressure, I’ve proven to myself that I perform just as well under pressure if not better.  However, while I constantly have thoughts about not wanting to doing things, it doesn’t inhibit me from ultimately completing the assignment.  Procrastinators aren’t the only ones that have these thoughts, and sometimes they aren’t even “lies.” There really are times when people think about how they’d want to do something more at a later time, and then end up wanting to do it later in the day.

Seven also makes a decent point, but it is ultimately wrong.  Passive procrastinators will look for distractions to prevent themselves from doing work, but, again, this only applies to passive procrastinators, not active.

Point 8 is in a great position to mention active and passive procrastination, but instead, ignores the two completely and replaces them with three types that leave out some major parts of active and passive procrastination.  The first is a small part of active procrastination that focuses on the rush created my doing things last minute.  It fails to mention the benefits of the rush though, and still makes it out to be a totally bad thing.  The second two are just attributes of passive procrastination which are still quite clearly bad.

Nine makes a claim about procrastination being bad for a students health.  If a student active procrastinates, they can easily relieve a load of stress from themselves which won’t affect a student negatively at all.  The health problems can be present in a passive procrastinator.

Ten doesn’t provide an argument against procrastination, so it won’t be refuted.

Overall, the article explains why passive procrastination is a bad thing, something that I will gladly admit is true.  However, the article doesn’t specify what type of procrastination is being talked about and makes these arguments for all types of procrastination.  Just about all the arguments are directed at passive procrastination, which is more of just general laziness than actual procrastination.

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