College college students have a whole lot of freedom however not a lot construction. This may be dangerous for routine procrastinators. Research have proven that not less than half of college college students procrastinate to a stage that’s probably dangerous to their schooling.
However this will not be the one damaging results of placing issues off till a later date. Research have discovered a hyperlink between procrastination and poor well being. It’s related to larger ranges of stress, unhealthier existence and delays in seeing a health care provider about well being issues.
Nonetheless, these research—by the character of their design—can’t inform us the course of the connection. Does procrastination trigger poor bodily and psychological well being as a result of individuals, say, delay beginning a brand new train regime or seeing a health care provider a couple of well being drawback? Or is it the opposite means round? Does poor bodily well being, say, lead individuals to procrastinate as a result of they do not have the power to do the duty now?
To attempt to resolve this riddle, we carried out a longitudinal examine—that’s, a examine that adopted individuals for a time frame, taking measurements at varied factors within the examine. We recruited 3,525 college students from eight universities in and round Stockholm and requested them to finish questionnaires each three months for one 12 months.
Our examine, printed in JAMA Community Open, aimed to research if college students who procrastinate have a better danger of poor psychological and bodily well being. Of the three,525 college students we recruited, 2,587 answered the follow-up questionnaire 9 months later, the place a number of well being outcomes had been measured.
To grasp how procrastination pertains to later well being outcomes, college students with a better tendency to procrastinate (as scored on a procrastination scale) firstly of the examine had been in contrast with college students with a decrease tendency. The outcomes confirmed that larger ranges of procrastination had been related to considerably larger signs of despair, nervousness and stress 9 months later.
College students with larger ranges of procrastination had been additionally extra more likely to report disabling ache within the shoulders or arms (or each), worse sleep high quality, extra loneliness and extra monetary difficulties. These associations remained even after we took different components that would have an effect on the affiliation into consideration, comparable to age, gender, dad and mom’ stage of schooling, and former bodily and psychiatric diagnoses.
Though no particular well being end result was strongly related to procrastination, the outcomes recommend that procrastination could also be of significance for a variety of well being outcomes, together with psychological well being issues, disabling ache and an unhealthy way of life.
As talked about above, in earlier research, members had been solely assessed at one time limit, making it onerous to know which of the circumstances got here first: procrastination or poor well being. By getting college students to reply questionnaires at a number of time factors, we may make sure that excessive procrastination ranges had been current earlier than we measured their well being.
However it’s nonetheless potential that different components not accounted for in our evaluation may clarify the associations between procrastination and subsequent poor well being outcomes. Our outcomes aren’t proof of trigger and impact, however they recommend it extra strongly than earlier “cross-sectional” research.
It may be handled
There’s excellent news for routine procrastinators. Scientific trials (the gold commonplace of medical analysis) have proven that cognitive behavioural remedy is efficient at lowering procrastination.
The therapy helps the particular person overcome procrastination by breaking apart long-term targets into short-term targets, managing distractions (comparable to turning off cell phones), and staying targeted on a activity regardless of experiencing damaging feelings.
This requires some effort, so it isn’t one thing an individual can do whereas making an attempt to fulfill a particular deadline. However even small modifications can have a big impact. You may strive it your self. Why not begin right this moment by leaving your cell phone in one other room when it’s essential keep targeted on a activity.
Fred Johansson et al, Associations Between Procrastination and Subsequent Well being Outcomes Amongst College College students in Sweden, JAMA Community Open (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.49346
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Procrastination is linked to poor well being—new examine (2023, January 17)
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