Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and Procrastination


Delaying activities that have a certain deadline for completion is known as procrastination. Though there is no article exclusively acknowledging procrastination as an ADHD symptom, there are a number of studies that have been conducted to establish the relationship between procrastination and ADHD. Individuals with ADHD often feel like procrastination is a physical sensation, which forces them to hold off activities up until when they are due (Pychyl, 2018). Moreover, they feel like their brain is always struggling to gear up and focus on the assignment at hand. For example, a student may always find themselves postponing their assignments until one day to the deadline. This could be as a result of factors such as being overwhelmed by the assignment such that one doesn’t know where to start. There is always a natural avoidance of doing what needs to be done immediately, and as a result, students with ADHD always find themselves struggling with procrastination (Rooney, 2017). ADHD is a frequent diagnosis in children, and it is estimated that 3-7% throughout the world have the disorder (Niermann & Scheres, 2014). Though ADHD is diagnosed at childhood, it is a disorder that persists to adolescence and even adulthood. Children with ADHD are prone to procrastination, a u that has negative effects on both their lives in school and at home. High school students are in their adolescent years, and it is during these years when there is an onset of puberty. The most commonly encountered problem among the ADHD population is procrastination; however, little research exists with regards to the association between ADHD and procrastination. The study by Niermann & Scheres, (2014) established that there is a certain level of correlation between procrastination and ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD are divided into three, that is, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Three core symptoms of ADHD are thought to be associated with procrastination. There are three expressions of procrastination; academic procrastination, and everyday procrastination. As mentioned earlier, academic procrastination involves delayed completion of assignments or delayed examination studies. High school students with ADHD may also experience everyday procrastination, which involves performing daily activities just before the deadline and having difficulties organising their daily activities. Having difficulties in making decisions on time is known as decisional procrastination. High school children with ADHD tend to forget homework assignments, have difficulties in completing long-term projects, forget studying for tests, and also have a problem keeping materials organised. The above-mentioned problems are associated with ADHD and can also clinically manifest as procrastination. ADHD often results in negative life experiences among high school students, and hence these students tend to have low self-esteem, lack of self-belief, and low self-efficacy (Niermann & Scheres, 2014). In high school children with ADHD, procrastination can be improved by employing comprehensive programs and individual school-based interventions (Low, 2018). It is important to help the students understand that relying on internal motivations can be exhausting, and therefore should learn to rely on external motivations. It has been established that high school students with ADHD struggle with organising information and attending to school tasks while in the school setting. Note-taking is a habit that a student can learn and hence enable them to effectively address these two issues (Eva, Langberg, Egan, & Moliter, 2015). To date, there is only one study in existence, which showed an improvement in assignment scores for high school students with ADHD who practiced note-taking. Selfmanagement is another way that students can improve the procrastination habit. With self-management, the student will be able to complete homework and assignments within the set deadlines, and with minimal external support. The student can also set selfmanagement goals, which further encourages progress. Several studies have been conducted, and the results indicate that self-management can improve homework completion behaviours (Eva et al., 2015).

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