Procrastination: the misuse of self-regulatory resources may lead to fatigue
Conklin, Erin Marie
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The relationships between procrastination, self-regulation, and fatigue were assessed. Previous researchers have suggested that procrastination is positively related to fatigue (Gropel&Steel, 2008), and that the use of self-regulation results in higher levels of fatigue (Muraven, Tice,&Baumeister, 1998). In the present study, I proposed that self-regulation is the mechanism underlying the relationship between procrastination and fatigue. Undergraduate students (N=110) first completed an in-lab questionnaire, then completed 15 online questionnaires per week for three weeks. The online questionnaires assessed sleeping and waking habits, along with reports of state fatigue. Procrastination was assessed through the time spent putting off getting out of bed each morning. Participants were split into two groups, and the experimental group was instructed to use an alarm clock without a snooze button during Week 2. Three findings were of interest. First, in contrast to global, self-reported behavior, aggregated measures of daily self-reported procrastination indicated a positive relationship with trait measures of procrastination, suggesting that global self-reports of behavior delay should be interpreted with caution. Second, trait procrastination was found to be a significant predictor of the amount of time spent delaying getting out of bed in the morning; however, the amount of time spent delaying getting out of bed in the morning was not predictive of subjective morning or afternoon fatigue. Finally, partial support was provided for a relationship between trait procrastination and state fatigue after accounting for other variables which have been shown to predict state subjective fatigue (e.g., neuroticism and anxiety; Ackerman, Kanfer,&Wolman, 2008). Based on these findings, I suggest that a stronger relationship exists between procrastination and fatigue at the trait level than the state level, and the state-level relationship may operate through a mechanism other than self-regulation.