Solving Problems and Making Decisions – Research Paper Example
Solving Problems and Making Decisions
Timothy A. Pychyl (2010) defines procrastination as “the voluntary delay of an intended action despite the knowledge that this delay may harm the individual in terms of the task performance or even just how the individual feels about the task or him/herself” (Pychyl, 2010, p. 17).
Chronic procrastinators are notoriously poor time managers. Research shows that everyone procrastinates at one point or another. Amongst the test subjects 20% were identified as chronic procrastinators (Ferrari, 2010, p. 35). The difference between a regular and chronic procrastinator is that a chronic procrastinator always puts off working on an assignment or task until the very last moment of time; also misses deadlines occasionally even when sufficient time had been allotted.
A few reasons for procrastination are (Ferrari, 2010, pp. 37-38, 45):
1. Trying to be a perfectionist, and hence keep on conducting research and making corrections to the work.
2. Low self-esteem
3. Fear of failure
4. High anxiety levels
5. Day dreaming
I. Types of Information
At the outset it is imperative to remain focused on the subject matter at hand (Carter, Bishop, & Kravits, 2007, pp. 78-79), which in this case is finding a solution for procrastination. One would gather some basic details of the information through self experimentation, this would be answers to the question “Why do I procrastinate?” and try to evaluate a solution best suited to one’s specific reason for procrastination.
Further primary and secondary information required are:
1. Gathering a list of generic causes of procrastination
2. Marking the causes that effect oneself personally
3. Looking for a theme or circumstances when one procrastinates
4. Check if others are also late while competing similar tasks in order to ascertain that the problem lies only with oneself
5. Looking for some universal methods to stop or prevent it.
6. Checking for primary research conducted to check the validity of the methods to stop procrastinating
7. Checking if someone within my circle has had problems with procrastination-- if yes, ask how they arrived at a solution.
II. Sources of Information
1. Self-help/general books
4. Soliciting help from college counselors and peers
5. Self experimentation
Direct sources such as college counselors, oneself, peers, and parents shall be used to obtain primary information. And the library, over-the-counter books, and the Internet would help acquire secondary information. Self-evaluation and experimentations may be required to collect the data for questions such as “why do I procrastinate?”
Process used for evaluation
The process to evaluate the information is as follows (Carter, Bishop, & Kravits, 2007, p. 84) (Treffinger, Isaksen, & Stead-Dorval, 2005, pp. 17, 29):
1. Credibility of the authors or sources would have to be assessed.
2. Checking if the information is applicable in this particular case
3. Confirming validity of a piece of information by checking if other sources agree with the same
4. Looking for studies conducted on the piece of information to check if primary sources agree with the information
5. Separating facts from opinions and assumptions
Points to consider while evaluating information
1. Contradictory opinions
2. Perspectives of different authors and our own perspective toward the opinions of the authors
3. Credibility of source
4. Validity of Information
5. Importance of a particular piece of information toward the objective. The higher the importance, the greater the importance bestowed upon the piece of information (Carter, Bishop, & Kravits, 2007, p. 84).
Solving the problem using the info gathered
Authors Donald Treffinger and Scott Isaksen (2005) believe that the best solutions toward a problem can be attained only if the problem has been thoroughly analyzed from the beginning and new ideas have been introduced that provide value addition to established theories (Treffinger, Isaksen, & Stead-Dorval, 2005, pp. 1, 2, 3). Furthermore, the authors provide a model for creative problem-solving:
(Treffinger, Isaksen, & Stead-Dorval, 2005, p. 4)
The reason for analyzing from the beginning, according to the authors, is the error in judgment within previous tests.
So also taking Treffinger, Isaksen, and Stead-Dorval (2005) under consideration along with Carter et al., after extracting all the facts, the very first task would be to organize the data to glance at the available solutions clearly.
The next process will be brainstorming, within which we would think of creative solutions to the problem based on the data available, here we could also consider adding value the solutions gathered from primary and secondary sources.
Within the list of solutions, the pros and cons of each would be marked and then one must take action (Carter, Bishop, & Kravits, 2007, p. 84).
Finally, to keep a track of the progress made, a journal would be maintained. The solution selected would be changed and a new track would be chosen if the progress is slow.
Important things to consider in this process
1. Understanding and accepting that curing procrastination is a time-consuming process that would require the use of will power and patience.
2. Think constructively and out of the box, one must bring something new to the table. This is important for self esteem, and one would be more likely to follow self-developed creative methods in a better manner.
3. Strengths and weaknesses of different solutions must be analyzed and only one step must be taken at a time.
Carter, C., Bishop, J., and Kravits, S. L. (2007). Keys to college studying: Becoming an active thinker (2nd Edition). New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Ferrari, J (2010). Still procrastinating: The no regrets guide to getting it done. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.
Pychyl, T. A (2010). The procrastinator's digest. Bloomington: Xlibris Corporation.
Treffinger, D. J., Isaksen, S. G., and Stead-Dorval, K. B (2005). Creative problem-solving: An introduction (4th Edition). Prufrock Press Inc.