Procrastination vs. Precrastination in Language Learning: Find the Balance

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Procrastination vs. Precrastination in language learning: What Does It Mean?

In my long practice teaching languages and also being a student, people mostly talk about procrastination and how to deal with it.

But I haven’t heard much about precrastination.

Even Grammarly corrects my spelling from precrastination to procrastination.

Not kidding!

So, I need to fight with this app and have my title written correctly.

Try it if you don’t believe me.

I assume you are learning a language if you are reading this article.

Are you precrastinating?

” What on earth,” I can hear some of you saying.

Well, Grammarly is asking the same.

If you don’t mind, let’s discuss these two habits and how they affect productivity.

I am sure that will be helpful.

Let’s start with procrastination, as most of us are trying to deal with that.

You already know what that is, right?

Definition and Characteristics of Procrastination

Definition of Procrastination

Procrastination vs. Precrastination in language learning collage

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks, activities, or decisions.

It often involves choosing more enjoyable or easier tasks over more important or challenging ones, despite knowing that this delay could lead to negative consequences.

Sounds familiar?

I know. This is my middle name too.

Still fight with this dilemma daily.

My issue comes from not being able to follow the good advice: “Done is better than perfect.

It wasn’t a pleasant task to do but for this article, I listed some of its characteristics.

I don’t want to scare you but look at that:

Characteristics of Procrastination

👎 Chronic Delay:

  • Continuously postponing tasks, often leading to a last-minute rush.
    • Putting off starting tasks until the deadline is imminent.

👎 Avoidance Behavior:

  • Avoiding tasks that seem difficult, unpleasant, or overwhelming.
    • Seeking distractions to escape from responsibilities.

👎 Difficulty in Decision Making:

  • Indecisiveness and second-guessing decisions.
    • Taking a long time to decide on a course of action.

👎 Anxiety and Stress:

  • Experiencing increased stress and anxiety due to looming deadlines.
    • Feeling overwhelmed by the accumulation of delayed tasks.

👎 Lowered Performance:

  • Producing lower quality work due to rushed efforts.
    • Not having sufficient time for thorough work and revision.

👎 Negative Emotions:

  • Feeling guilt, regret, and frustration over not meeting deadlines or goals.
    • Decreased self-esteem and confidence due to perceived failures.

👎 Perfectionism:

  • Procrastinating due to a fear of making mistakes or not meeting high standards.
    • Delaying tasks until the conditions seem perfect, which often never happens.

👎 Time Management Issues:

  • Poor planning and underestimating the time required for tasks.
    • Difficulty prioritizing tasks effectively.

👎 Habitual Nature:

  • Procrastination becomes a habitual response to tasks.
    • Developing a pattern of delaying activities over time.

Impressive list, and I didn’t even include the whole list I created.

What do you think?

During the years I was battling with my tendency to procrastinate and distract myself, I sought explanations for why people try to avoid important work.

This led me to explore various reasons behind procrastination, including fear of failure, lack of motivation, overwhelm, and perfectionism.

Why is it important to understand these causes

Understanding the causes of procrastination is crucial for several reasons:


It helps individuals become more aware of their own tendencies and patterns of behavior.

Recognizing why you procrastinate allows you to acknowledge when it’s happening and take steps to address it.

Effective Strategies

Knowing the root causes enables you to develop targeted strategies to combat procrastination.

For example, if fear of failure is a reason, you can work on building resilience or setting smaller, achievable goals.

Improved Productivity

Addressing underlying causes can lead to increased productivity.

By tackling procrastination at its source, you can focus more effectively on tasks and accomplish them promptly.

For more tips on how to be productive read 25 + Easy Ways to Boost Your Language Learning Productivity

 Enhanced Well-Being

Procrastination often leads to stress, anxiety, and feelings of guilt.

Understanding why you procrastinate and taking steps to manage it can contribute to better mental and emotional well-being.

Goal Achievement

Overcoming procrastination helps you stay on track with your goals and aspirations.

Whether it’s learning a language or pursuing professional ambitions, understanding and managing procrastination can facilitate progress toward success.


I stress the importance of understanding the causes of procrastination because when you know the problem, you can change your behavior.

Understanding these causes empowers people to take control of their actions, improve productivity, and achieve greater satisfaction in both personal and professional endeavors.

This is especially valid for students and those learning new languages.

As language enthusiasts, we all know the struggles we face when it comes to getting things done.

The effects of procrastination on language acquisition can be crucial. They lead to:

  • Delayed progress
  • Increased stress
  • Inconsistent learning habits

I recommend taking a brief pause to explore my printables. These printable guides are ideal for self-study, designed with a convenient two-page format.

Each unit has the content on the left side and vocabulary explanations on the right.

The key benefit is the time saved, as you won’t need to look up words in a dictionary—everything you need is right in front of you.

English Self-Study Series – Topic: Food & Cooking

Definition and Characteristics of Precrastination

Definition of  Precrastination

Precrastination refers to the tendency to prioritize completing tasks as soon as possible, even if doing so may not be the most efficient or effective approach.

It involves rushing to complete tasks early, often at the expense of thoroughness or quality, in a desire to reduce the immediate cognitive load or anxiety associated with unfinished tasks.

Common reasons for precrastination in language learning

  • A desire for quick completion
  • Anxiety relief
  • Perfectionism

Characteristics of Precrastination

Once again, I created a list so you can scan it easily.

Immediate Action

👉 Preferring to start and complete tasks immediately upon encountering them.

👉 Feeling a sense of accomplishment by tackling tasks early.

Preference for Closure

👉 Seeking closure on tasks quickly to reduce mental clutter or uncertainty.

👉 Feeling uncomfortable with tasks left unfinished or pending.

Time Management Tendencies

👉 Prioritizing the present moment over long-term planning.

👉 Sometimes neglecting deeper analysis or reflection in favor of immediate action.

Perceived Efficiency

👉 Belief that completing tasks early saves time and effort in the long run.

👉 Overlooking potential benefits of delaying tasks for better planning or decision-making.

Impact on Decision-Making

👉 Making quick decisions to resolve tasks promptly.

👉 Sometimes rushing through tasks without considering alternative approaches or consequences.

Motivational Factors

👉 Feeling motivated by the sense of progress and accomplishment from completing tasks early.

👉 Enjoying the feeling of being proactive and ahead of schedule.

I emphasize the importance of understanding the causes of precrastination because, when you know the problem, you can change your behavior.

Recognizing these causes empowers people to take control of their actions, improve productivity, and achieve greater satisfaction in both personal and professional endeavors.

This is especially true for students and those learning new languages.

As language enthusiasts, we all know the struggles we face when it comes to getting things done promptly.

The effects of precrastination on language acquisition can be significant. They lead to:

  • Reduced quality of learning
  • Increased stress
  • Superficial understanding

Positive Aspects of Precrastination in language learning

Precrastination, the flip side of procrastination, can offer some surprising benefits.

For example, Early Completion: Getting tasks done early can prevent last-minute stress and ensure you have time to review and improve your work.

Another positive outcome could be Consistent Progress: Regularly completing tasks can lead to steady progress.

It also leads to Better Time Management: It helps in managing time effectively, allowing you to allocate more time to challenging areas.

Negative Aspects of Precrastination in language learning:

Now, let’s take a closer look at the negative outcomes.

It could be Reduced Quality: Rushing to complete tasks can lead to mistakes and lower quality work.

Increased Stress: Constantly trying to get things done quickly can lead to unnecessary stress and burnout.

Also, Overlooking Learning Opportunities: You might miss deeper learning opportunities by not taking the time to fully understand the material.

Find the Balance

Precrastination in language learning

The Importance of Balance for Effective Language Learning

What I have learned in my life is always to look for balance, as it ensures consistent and efficient language acquisition.

Striking a balance between procrastination and precrastination is crucial for getting results either in work or learning a new language.

If left unchecked, both tendencies can hinder productivity, learning quality, and overall progress.

What to do? ⁉️

Well, start with Identifying your Tendencies towards Procrastination or Precrastination

On the first place is Self-Assessment: Reflect on past behaviors and current practices in language learning to identify whether you tend to procrastinate or precrastinate.

Second, look for Behavioral Patterns: Recognize specific situations or tasks where these tendencies manifest more prominently.

Last but not least check for Emotional Triggers: Understand the emotional factors that influence your decision-making process in starting and completing learning tasks.

I have some ideas to share:

Strategies for Balancing Both Tendencies

✔️ Set Realistic Goals: Establish achievable milestones and deadlines that balance the need for timely action.

✔️ Use Prioritization Techniques: Use methods such as the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize language learning activities based on urgency and importance.

✔️ Structured Planning: Develop a structured study schedule that includes dedicated time for both immediate task completion and in-depth learning activities.

✔️ Implement Mindfulness Practices: Incorporate mindfulness techniques to become more aware of impulsive tendencies towards procrastination or precrastination.

✔️ Try Adaptive Time Management: Adjust your approach based on task complexity, leveraging quick completion for straightforward tasks and reserving more time for complex learning exercises.

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Final Thoughts: Procrastination vs. Precrastination in Language Learning: Find the Balance

Based on my experience, finding balance in life is the most difficult thing to do.

This also applies to finding the balance between precrastination and procrastination.

There were periods in my life when I was trying to deal with my persistent bad habit of procrastination, then I swung in the opposite direction, starting to precrastinate and pushing myself to complete my tasks to study English.

I kept telling myself, “It is better to be done than perfect. Let me do it now. Let me put a check mark that it is done.” I was pushing too hard in that direction, compromising the quality.

So, try to keep the balance.

I know it’s easier said than done but just try it.

Use some of the strategies I shared and have used myself.

Keep in mind that sometimes they will work, and sometimes they won’t but don’t give up—keep trying.

Changing bad habits to good ones is a long-term game, but you probably already know that.

Thanks for reading to the very end, and please remember you are not alone in your search for success in language learning, self-development, and life in general.

Talk to you soon.


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