Is excess of Information the cause of Procrastination for Students?
OK. There are a lot of articles in Internet on why Procrastination is bad, what you should do to stop it and so on, but not much on why it exists in the first place. I am not a philosopher or psychologist by any means but this is something I slowly discovered in the last 5–6 years of my life. So bear with me on this ~5 minutes of my rambling :D
Procrastination is the act of not wanting to do urgent tasks or leave it for future dates in exchange of doing other more pleasurable stuffs. Procrastination is such a subtle and strange disease. You know you are infected and you know you’ve to cure it yourself, but you might not be able to do it. You are like a sick doctor who knows his own illness but can’t do anything about it.
It is a generally known fact that the more you have something you like, the more you will want it.
Wealth, house, food, family, happiness and all these materialistic and abstract things that we desire, we always want more than what we already have. People might get satisfied for a while when they meet their goal, but after a period, this strange feeling of lacking something kicks in and people’s heart creates greater desires and they run after them again.
Talking about the title, it seems contradictory to my buildup— People want more but procrastinate?? What?? !!! WAIT!!
So how does having excess of information cause procrastination? Shouldn’t it cure it? The answer is both Yes and No . Yes, due to all the logic and human behavior I explained above. No, because of this modern era when we have such a huge wealth of information available on the Internet on the mercy of our few clicks.
In older times when there were few physical book we could borrow from the library/bookstore and not much Youtube or online resources to look into, these few resources used to be precious. But now with the advances in internet and such wealth of online books, videos, courses and so on to choose from, this can instead turn into a distraction. I remember when I was a kid, I only got to borrow 1 book every week from our school library. There were not many books and if I got hand on any good book, I would spend the whole week reading it without missing a single line.
Fast forward a decade and now if I want anything, I don’t think of going to a library. I go online and within milliseconds I come up with thousands of various stuffs on the topic.
So this is when the demon wakes up from the depths of our minds. When there are too many choices, we usually end up with choosing neither of those. Too many resources to look into makes us somewhat anxious and the I-want-more-but-easier-and-faster type of feelings comes out.
It would be perfectly OK if everything in the Internet was correct and easy to understand but it’s sadly not true.
When we don’t understand things initially, instead of trying harder or re-reading through them, we look for other resources in search of finding easy-to-understand source. All these Learn X in Y hours types of content in the internet are the results of this. We skip through pages and links and videos to get a concise version of everything at once instead of persisting through the first thing we found. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the thing we found are true and thus, we look for other resources to compare.
So eventually if we don’t get it (get here means understand to the deeper level that we desire), we just save or print those stuffs and leave it for later. Yes, that’s it. This is how procrastination develops in most students.
I, myself being a victim of it for a long time, don’t have any magical solution to uproot this evil. However, I can give some advice on how to slow it down.
- Stop reading from ebook, pdf or online. Read from a PHYSICAL BOOK or print them.
When you’re reading online, you might have tendency to open new tab of facebook, ytube or other stuffs and forget the thing you were reading. Physical books don’t have X to close and physical contact helps a lot to focus.
2. If you can, BUY BOOKS or ONLINE COURSES
Free stuffs, even if it is worth million dollars, don’t really have much value as you got it for free. Instead, spend money on stuffs you like/want to learn. When you spend money, you have this sentiment to make good use of your money spent and it increases productivity (don’t know the exact term. sunk cost maybe??).
3. Buy low-spec computers, mobile phones etc
This step is for professional procrastinators. Unless you do high-memory consuming work on your computer, buying low-specification products usually impedes you from doing unnecessary stuffs like playing video games and stuffs. This obligates you to finish your school work in school and do homework and reading stuffs on your low-end device. I don’t mean buy bad stuffs that lowers productivity, but don’t buy stuffs just for it’s extra features.
These are many ways to slow procrastination and these steps are not facts. These 3 steps might all apply to some people while none might apply to other. This is just something which worked for me to slowly get myself out of such habits. If you have you own story or new ideas on the topic, feel free to write those to me. Good Luck!!