The Power of Midnight Oil: Procrastination and Creativity, by Annika Erikson

Procrastination has long been portrayed as a flaw and an inconvenience, and is alive and well among college students across the country. But recent studies have linked procrastination to increased creativity in the workplace, so I intend to measure if this is also the case amidst classroom settings.

This year, I am continuing my study of the correlation between procrastination and creativity. I will be distributing two-part surveys to upper-division writing courses here at UCSB evaluating their procrastination tendencies, anxiety levels induced by the act of pushing tasks to a later date, opinions on the value of writing, as well as measures of writing apprehension. This first part of the survey encompasses writing apprehension, value placed in writing, and the dissonance caused by delaying tasks, which enables me to obtain a more fair measure of the students’ procrastination tendencies and their causes. The second component of the survey is distributed to the students’ professors, who then evaluate how creative they find each student to be based on a set of specifically designed questions. Based on the combination of these two results, I will calculate the data to determine if there is the procrastination/ creativity relationship that has been claimed to exist by researchers before me.

My project will culminate in a presentation of the results and conclusions I find from the studies I conduct with upper-division writing students here at UCSB.