Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Beating Procrastination

In my sessions with law students, I often find that students who are struggling academically have severe problems with time management and curbing their tendencies to procrastinate. In fact, I had so many students admitting that they were serious procrastinators that I went in search of a practical book on curbing procrastination. Fortunately, I found an inexpensive and very readable book that has a positive impact on law students.

Dr. Linda Sapadin has written a book with Jack Maguire titled Beat Procrastination and Make the Grade: The Six Styles of Procrastination and How Students Can Overcome Them. Dr. Sapadin's book is based on her research with undergraduate and graduate students.

The six procrastination styles are: Perfectionist; Dreamer; Worrier; Crisis-Maker; Defier; Overdoer. Dr. Sapadin includes a survey instrument in the book that allows the reader to answer questions on the six styles and "score" the styles to determine which are major or minor problems. Sapadin then describes each style more thoroughly and offers practical suggestions for curbing that style.

Among the interesting points from Sapadin:

Procrastinators are not born with the tendency, but learn the behavior.  Many people can even identify the role models for procrastination in their lives.

Procrastinators have self-talk "BUT" or negative statements that prompt them to procrastinate.

Procrastinators need to learn "AND" or positive statements that break the self-talk cycle.

Procrastination behavior also includes actions and reinforcement through talking to others.

Using logs to become more aware of self-talk and actions can assist students in curbing procrastination. (alj)

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