As the authors explain, “many studies have shown that procrastination affects students’ grades and well-being.” Indeed, procrastination can be defined as an “irrational and acratic behavior, since it is to delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.”
Acratic, here, refers to the fact that “”often people indicate that they cannot control their procrastination” (all quotes are from the original study.)
Although all four types of intervention were found to be effective, with lasting effects, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) had the strongest effect.
The underlying idea behind CBT, which is usually reserved to the treatment of mental disorders such as clinical depression, “is that our thoughts determine how we feel and how we behave.” Concretely, the therapy focuses on identifying and replacing automatic yet dysfunctional thinking patterns though such exercises as:
“Based on our meta-analysis, we conclude that procrastination decreases after an intervention. The average effect size denoted a medium to large decline, indicating that treatmment is worthwhile in general. Thus, the findings suggest that people can change. This is important for students who struggle with procrastination within the educational coontext, as self-regulation may be seen as an important characteristic to successfully achieve academic goals. We also conclude that the follow-up measurements indicate that procrastination does not return to its level before training, nor declines more over time. Rather, the effect remains stable. With regard to the type of treatment, we conclude that cognitive-behavior therapy shows larger effects sizes.”
Reference: Van Eerde and Klingsieck (2018), “Overcoming Procrastination? A Meta-analysis of Intervention Studies”, Educational Research Review, 25, pp. 73-85