Research Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


Procrastination is a common phenomenon in students in higher education. To voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay can affect academic performance, cause study delay, but also lead to frustration and stress. This study set out to explore students’ beliefs about what causes procrastination, the extent to which online education and the use of digital devices affects their level of procrastination, and their coping mechanisms and ideas about the kind of support a study program can offer to mitigate the effects of procrastination. Focus group interviews were conducted with first-, second- and third year engineering students. Interviews were transcribed and coded to detect general themes in the students’ responses. Students hold several beliefs about what causes procrastination, for example situational temptations and distractions, and task aversion. Regarding online education, students tend to procrastinate more. Digital devices are regarded a serious threat for productivity, students use various settings and apps on their phones to battle distraction. To conclude, students cope with procrastination in various ways. Creating study groups, developing fixed working patterns, and breaking down the task at hand are among the most common. Amongst other things, students state that a study program might invest in creating awareness of procrastination, accommodating group work, and creating enough separated physical spaces for study and relaxation to mitigate the effects of procrastination. This study will inform the design of a procrastination intervention program.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.