Time management: Procrastination tendency in individual and collaborative tasks

Ruti Gafni, Nitza Geri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Procrastination is the tendency to postpone an activity under one's control to the last possible minute, or even not to perform it at all. This study examines procrastination regarding completion of various parts of a task, each of which has a different deadline. Whereas from an attention economy perspective it may be better to complete all the parts at the earliest deadline, the human tendency to procrastinate results in a delay of the parts that have a later deadline. Data was collected at an online discussion board about the behavior of 120 MBA students. Their assignment included an individual part with a specific deadline for each student and a collaborative part that the students had to complete by the end of the semester. The findings suggest that usually students tended to perform their individual task on time, even when the assignment was voluntary. However, the collaborative part of the assignment was delayed to the last three weeks of the semester when the assignment was compulsory and was not completed at all when it was voluntary. The paper discusses the implications of the findings regarding effective time management of collaborative tasks in online environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
JournalInterdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management
StatePublished - 2010


  • Attention economy
  • Online collaboration
  • Online forum assignments
  • Procrastination
  • Time management


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