Every time the same thing happens and a recurrent question come to my mind: ” Why do I always end up starting thinking about my assignments one week (if not less) before the deadline???”. No matter how many time, after submitting the assignments at the last minute, I said to my(stressed) self: “That’s it, next semester I will begin them well (well) in advance…”
So, my question today is Why do I procrastinate even if I know it is not good?
According to Ferrai, Johnson and McCown there are 4 main cognitive distortions that lead to academic procrastination:
- Overestimate how much time they have left to perform tasks
- Overestimate how motivated they will be in the future
- Underestimate how long certain activities will take to complete
- Mistakenly assume that they need to be in the right frame of mind to work on a project
Well, in my case all of the apply.
We might think that it is because of the task but according to a study by Shu Ayelet Gneezy procrastination is not limited to unpleasant tasks but it concerns positive activities that even have direct benefits. This is showed with gift vouchers, for example, that have a long expiry date consumers will be less likely to redeem them, an imminent deadline will, on the other hand, be more likely to make consumers use their voucher on time.
The study suggests that company needs to think carefully about they promotional offers if they have a long span of time since consumer will like the fact of a longer period of time to benefit from the offer but they will be less likely to respond. What company could do is to send reminders to customers few days before expiring that might work since the shorter time will give them a sense of scarcity and make them more likely to respond.
That just reminder that I have a gift voucher from last Christmas to use before the end of the year!!!
Suzanne B. Shu, Ayelet Gneezy (2010) Procrastination of Enjoyable Experiences. Journal of Marketing Research: October 2010, Vol. 47, No. 5, pp. 933-944: