The internet increased the popularity of terms to call phenomena that people knew existed but never got to describe. For instance, “procrastination” became a go-to word for students and workers when describing their habit of intentionally delaying a task until the last minute of a due date.

But despite the word gaining popularity over the internet, the word was first used in 1588 and had roots dating back to ancient civilizations. In fact, there were clues in Hesiod’s, a Greek poet, and Cicero’s, a Roman consul, works that such a habit existed in their timelines (Jaffe, 2013). Therefore, procrastination did not grow as a product of human evolution, nor was it developed by a particular generation, in contrast to popular belief.

So, as it was established that such a trait is innate to a man’s being, should it be made an ally in the teaching-learning process?

For procrastinators, it doesn’t matter how long it takes for something to be done as long as it eventually gets done.

Some say that the time pressure of an approaching deadline gives them a boost in performance. To such people, procrastination works. In contrast, psychologists say that the empirical evidence contradicts this philosophy (Jaffe, 2013).

Sharon Greene, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in anxiety and depression aid for all ages, claimed that procrastination is a biological process. Greene explained that the limbic system, an older part of the brain, desires instant gratification and pleasure and avoids distress triggers. The limbic system signals constantly collide with that of the prefrontal cortex, a newer part of the brain that enables planning and decision-making. The constant collision between these two biological structures causes people to be torn between working and resting constantly (Race to a Cure, 2021). In addition, though procrastination is not considered a mental health issue, it may cause problematic behavior and cause distress in the long run, as Dr. Bill Hudenko, a licensed psychologist, said (Pelc, 2022). Other studies also show that the deterioration of one’s cognitive abilities and mental health outweighs the short-term benefits.

Should the effects of procrastination be subjective, the teaching-learning process should still be executed according to the values of discipline and self-regulation, regardless. The goal is to teach elementary students the culture of being present more than to accomplish the task that needs to be done. This way, they would be able to handle pressure and work well even in a real-life setting. For instance, it instills the value of professionalism by meeting people at the agreed place at the arranged time; or when running errands like paying bills or taking out the trash.

            Perhaps, procrastination works for adults who are used to the cycle of resting then cramming. It might have worked for those who got hooked in the high of saving the day just when the deadline was fast approaching. But the young ones have a lot of time to overcome such a habit.

            For children, it should not be just about getting things done but being present; momentum and productivity can follow through.


Jaffe, E. (2013, March 13). Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination. Association for Psychological Science.

Race to a Cure. (2021, June 19). The Neuroscience Behind Procrastination.

Pelc, C. (2022, October 22). Why do we procrastinate? Experts explain the science. MedicalNewsToday.

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