Reaching a finish line is an obstacle that does not begin or end with procrastination. A college dissertation, however, can be built on the foundations of such a behavior. Studies have proven that a small amount of pressure can actually stimulate comprehension and motivation, something that can be achieved through procrastination.
In a 2002 study by Jeffrey J. Walczyk, Kathryn E. Kelly, Scott D. Meche and Hillary Braud at Louisiana Tech University College called “Time Limitations Enhance Reading Comprehension,” students read passages under no time constraints, mild pressure, or under high-demand time limits. Results showed that the best reading comprehension was observed under mild time pressure. The idea can be further addressed by taking a closer look at procrastination.
With the idea encapsulated in the Parkinson’s Law stating that “Work Expands so as to fill the time available for its completion,” procrastination may be a realistic endeavor. Robert A. Harris, author of "Writing with Clarity and Style: A Guide to Rhetorical Devices for Contemporary Writers," associates the law with two factors. He addresses both in an article called “Human Factor Phenomena in Problem Solving.”
“First, when a deadline appears to be far off, people work more slowly and put tasks for that project farther down their priority lists,” writes Harris. “Second, when a large amount of time is available, people will do more inessential things on a project than when less time is available. Most projects are so defined that many non-required tasks could be performed or not performed, depending on the available time.”
The extent of the commitment a person puts into an activity can also play a role in procrastination. Steve Randall who is the author of “Results In No Time” and has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, says there’s a correlation between pressure felt and resistance to the activity. He uses the example of a Chinese finger puzzle, which is a small, wooden tube wide enough to put one finger in at teach end.
“If you try to quickly pull your fingers out, then there’s some pressure, and the puzzle turns into a trap. But if you simply relax, and simply get into the puzzle, moving your fingers closer together (getting more involved), there's no pressure, and the trap opens up,” he wrote about surrendering to the commitment.
Procrastination-related dealings extend as far as jumping rope with seaweed while there is work to be done like Stanford
Professor of Philosophy John Perry displays in a picture on his article titled “Structured Procrastination.” In his essay Perry talks about what he classifies as “justifying procrastination as a form of perfectionism.”
The idea that procrastinating is a way to put off doing important tasks by doing mediocre ones is something that Perry identifies. “Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it,” he wrote.
Perry goes on to describe the motivational basis of a procrastinator like a pyramid. “The list of tasks one has in mind will be ordered by importance. Tasks that seem most urgent and important are on top. But there are also worthwhile tasks to perform lower down on the list. Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list.” In addition, Perry advised procrastinators not to try eliminating all the obstacles on their agenda since having things to do is the basis of what motivates a procrastinator.