Faculty Research and Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2000


For five consecutive days, at either the beginning or the end of a term, college students (30 women, 7 men) listed daily academic and nonacademic tasks they intended to complete and whether they actually completed them. Students reported nonacademic tasks (e.g., household chores, making telephone calls, exercising, and playing sports) as completed most often regardless of the time within the term. Results from 2 (early vs. later sessions) by 2 (completed vs. not completed tasks) by 2 (academic vs. nonacademic tasks) ANOVAs found that procrastinated tasks early in the term were more effortful and anxiety provoking than any other task during the term. Procrastinated academic tasks (e.g., homework, reading assignments, studying) in the early part of a term were rated as unpleasurable, while students reported later in the term that pleasantness of the task did not affect whether it was procrastinated or completed. These results imply that academic and nonacademic tasks should be challenging, yet fun, to heighten the likelihood that they are completed by students.


Final version available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1520-6807(200007)37:4%3C367::AID-PITS7%3E3.0.CO;2-Y/abstract

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