Students Struggle with Procrastination Throughout Online Learning



Distance learning increases procrastination in students already trying hard to adapt to new learning environments.

Procrastination has always been a struggle for middle schoolers, and with distance learning, that struggle has magnified.

Sequestered at home for much of the year, students have been constantly waiting for news and updates on the pandemic.   On top of that, they had to transition to online school and get used to being on screens for over 7 hours a day. Through all of this stress, procrastination can be a big issue.

Procrastination is not so much about time management and workloads but in reality it has more to do with our moods and emotions. 

“Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem,” explained  Dr. Tim Phychyl, professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa in an article by the New York Times.

According to the article, we procrastinate, in short, because of bad moods. We use procrastination as a way to handle negative moods and emotions while avoiding them at the same time. This pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone. With every day being confusing and new, it is no wonder that procrastination has become the norm.

“Before COVID, I would finish my work in like one hour or two hours, but now, because I’m looking at my computer, I spread it out throughout the day,” said 8th grader Sabrina W.

“Before COVID, I definitely had a much better work ethic. I would do my homework as soon as I got home. My work ethic isn’t horrible right now, but I will procrastinate a bit and avoid my work at times,” another 8th grader,  Alyssa E, said.

Because Alyssa is such a social person, she prefers hybrid schooling. She finds that completing work is much more challenging when doing online school because you’re on screens all day, and then after school, you go straight into doing more online work.

As schools return to normal, procrastination isn’t likely to go away entirely. But perhaps a chance at a social life and vaccines easing fears of COVID-19, procrastination will become less of an issue.