Britain is a nation of procrastinators – as 55 percent of adults admit they’ve picked up a series of bad habits when putting off a task. A poll of 2,000 adults found 44 percent are making cups of tea, 41 percent flipping on the TV, and 39 percent are idly checking email accounts, to put off studying or working.

Snacking, scrolling social media, and doodling little pictures also made the list of the top ways adults dodge jobs.

And Gen Z have picked up more bad procrastination habits compared to any other generation (81 percent, compared to 41 percent of those aged 55-64).

But while 79 percent of 18-24 year olds have tried to stop, 52 percent admitted that they don’t know how.

The research found one in five Gen Z feel embarrassed about their bad habits, which includes pen chewing.

In light of this, EXTRA gum, which commissioned the research, hosted a “Pen Amnesty” pop-up at the University of Greenwich, where students could swap their old, chewed-up pens for gum.

NHS medic and TV doctor, Dr Zoe Williams, who is working with the chewing gum brand, said: “Staying focused for longer periods of time can be a difficult task to navigate for some students during study sessions, or when gearing up for exam season.

“It can be so easy to get distracted and start procrastinating by doing other things, like watching TV or scrolling social media – anything that stops you from doing the task at hand.

“It’s important to try and keep your mind focused and ensure you’re in a good head space before drilling down and studying.”

However, the study found just over four in ten (41 percent) struggle to break free from their habit because they have lots of other things going on in their lives, so it’s hard to focus on just one.

For 39 percent of those who have issues, they find themselves prevented from focusing on a task when they’re hungry.

Another 30 percent will easily get distracted by phone notifications, and 26 percent can’t help but frequently check social media.

When doing tasks on a computer, 61 percent of those aged 18-24 admit they often have more than 20 tabs open on their browser window at any one time, as they jump between tasks – compared to just 31 percent of those aged 45-54 who do the same.

More than a third (35 percent) of respondents admit they have a short attention span, and 28 percent have fielded criticism from people about their bad procrastination habits.

Gen Z are also more likely to switch between multiple tasks at once (42 percent) – whereas a quarter of those aged 55-64 simply concentrate on one until it’s done (25 percent).

However, music (52 percent), snacks (34 percent), and chewing gum (26 percent) were some of things adults couldn’t study without, according to the data.

Hannah Lee, a spokeswoman for EXTRA®, added: “We want to help people kick bad study habits, starting with the one you don’t even realise you’re doing – chewing your pen.

“We all know how stressful studying can be, but chewing your pen isn’t the answer.

“There are more enjoyable habits to adopt, like chewing gum, which gives you a much-needed moment of refreshment whilst studying – so swap out your chewed pens for a more useful habit.”

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