Bad effects of procrastination
The Real Reason You’re Procrastinating
It’s the end of your workday and you’re staring at the to-do list you made earlier. You have one project at the bottom of the list that you’ve been putting off. It’s already late—you still haven’t gotten to it.
You tell yourself you’ll tackle the item tomorrow. You become increasingly frustrated with yourself for not getting it done.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.
Almost everyone procrastinates at one point or another. For many, the issue doesn’t interfere with their quality of life. But if you find yourself continually procrastinating, and then regretting it, you could be caught in a negative cycle.
It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you delay tasks, either at home or in the workplace. But do you deserve self-criticism—or is your procrastination pointing to something more serious?
It’s important to know that procrastination is not your fault. There are reasons we engage in this behavior, and there are ways we can address it.
Keep Reading To Learn
- Why we delay important tasks by procrastinating
- How procrastination is linked to mental health
- How to overcome procrastination
What Is Procrastination?
Experts define procrastination as a self-defeating behavior pattern marked by short-term benefits and long-term costs. Many of us know it as putting off things that we need to get done, no matter the level of difficulty behind the task.
We all procrastinate from time to time. However, when we develop a habit of putting off necessary actions, even when we face negative consequences, procrastination can affect our well-being.
According to a 2014 study on procrastination and coping, 20-25% of adults worldwide are chronic procrastinators. The issue can be linked to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, ADHD, and poor study habits.
Procrastination is connected to negative functioning and risks to mental health. People who procrastinate tend to have high levels of anxiety as well as poor impulse control.
Procrastination is even linked to physical illness. People who procrastinate experience more stress and tend to delay treatments—which can create a cycle of poor health due to just putting things off.
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Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD, LCSW, explains the varying signs and symptoms of perfectionism and answers audience questions about how we can teach our loved ones—and maybe even ourselves—to foster a growth mindset.
So Why Do We Procrastinate?
Even though procrastination results in more stress in the long term, people may delay action with the idea that they will feel better in the short term.
Studies consistently show that our stress levels are higher as a result of procrastination, though. There are a number of reasons why you may procrastinate.
It makes sense that if you perceive an activity as boring or unpleasant, you’re far more likely to put it off until later.
Lack of Belief in Your Abilities
Another reason you may procrastinate? You lack faith in your abilities. Believing that you can carry out tasks is essential to functioning. If your sense of self-efficacy is low, you’re less likely to begin a task or to see it through.
Fear and Anxiety
You may procrastinate out of fear. For example, you might delay essential medical tests because you’re afraid of a diagnosis. The more anxiety we experience about a task, the more likely we’ll put it off until later.
Not only does your stress level increase when you do this, but there’s a risk to physical health with an undetected, untreated illness.
Social anxiety can also play a role.
The fear of being judged or embarrassed can cause you to put off scheduling meetings or completing projects.
Perfectionism can play a role in procrastination. People may delay tasks they believe they won’t perform well or that they’ll fail altogether. They may try to put off a task until they suddenly feel more inspired or have a better idea, even though inspiration is more likely to strike once a person starts a task.
Distractions in our environment can prevent us from focusing on the task at hand. Many of us can relate to the lure of social media over a dreaded activity, such as paying bills.
Researchers believe procrastination has increased in recent years. Technology has been a factor. However, procrastination has been reported as a human behavior throughout history.
Procrastination in Kids and Teens
Children may procrastinate for the same reasons as adults: They may fear making mistakes. They may wish to put an unpleasant task out of their minds—only to struggle more later.
It’s important to keep in mind that children who procrastinate may be unsure of what is expected of them. For example, a child who delays turning in a homework assignment may be unclear about the directions. If you notice your child procrastinating, be sure to be patient and clear in your expectations.
On the other hand, children who chronically procrastinate may do so because they’ve gotten away with the behavior in the past. It’s important for parents and other caregivers to follow through with requests to help children develop healthy habits.
Is It Possible To Outgrow Procrastination?
Studies show young people are more likely to procrastinate than older age groups. In fact, many people seem to outgrow procrastination as they mature.
A 2016 study that analyzed procrastination in several different age groups found that procrastination was highest in 14-to-29-year-olds, the youngest age group studied.
The same study reports that people procrastinate less as they age. Researchers believe the decline is linked to personality development, changes in time perception, and increased coping skills.
In particular, people tend to develop more conscientiousness with age. Individuals with this personality trait tend to be careful and thorough.
Conscientiousness is linked to several positive aspects of life, from fulfillment with work to healthy relationships. The more conscientious a person is, the less likely they are to procrastinate.
Another reason older people may procrastinate less? They have more awareness that time is limited. Young people tend to have abstract thoughts about time.
As people become more aware of their own mortality, they realize they cannot indefinitely delay what needs to be done.
Procrastination in Students
While procrastination affects about a quarter of the general population, it impacts half of all students.
A 1997 study on student health found that students who procrastinated reported lower stress and less illness than peers early in the semester. As long as the deadline remained remote, the procrastinating students were better off.
However, later in the semester, students who procrastinated experienced more stress and illness. They were sicker than their peers overall. The procrastinating students also received lower grades on all assignments.
According to the study, delaying a task does not simply delay the unpleasantness associated with it. Even though procrastinators experience less stress to begin with, they were more stressed as the deadline neared and accumulated more stress overall.
The 2014 study on students’ mental health and coping found that students who put off starting and completing everyday tasks were less likely to express their needs. The students in this study also experienced increased stress.
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Is Procrastination Linked to Mental Health Conditions?
It’s important to know: procrastination is not a sign of laziness. Although procrastination is not considered a mental health condition in and of itself, it is connected to mental health challenges.
Several studies have linked procrastination to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. According to the American Psychological Association, procrastination can also play a role in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and several other conditions.
With procrastination and mental health concerns, it can be hard to know which comes first. Symptoms of mental illness, such as racing thoughts and fatigue, can make it hard to take on tasks. On the other hand, putting things off can create stress that leads to mental health concerns.
Procrastination and Self-Regulation
When people choose short-term rewards over long-term benefits, they may struggle with self-regulation.
Self-regulation involves behaviors like our ability to plan ahead or to pause before we react. It plays a role in substance use disorders and other conditions that involve impulse control.
Procrastination and Mood
In an article that reviews 20 years of studies on procrastination, the Association for Psychological Science points out that procrastination involves an inability to regulate mood and emotions.
When we stay on task, even while the task inspires dread, we’re managing challenging emotions. Many mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety can make it harder to regulate mood.
Chronic procrastinators are less likely to express their needs and concerns. Procrastination is associated with fewer mental health-seeking behaviors, including delays in seeking professional help.
All of this leads to greater distress, which is why it’s important to identify and address procrastination.
When Procrastination Points to Anxiety
Avoiding tasks out of fear of an unpleasant outcome is a sign of anxiety. For example, when people fear a result, they may delay learning the results of a test, or avoid taking the test altogether.
People with anxiety may also struggle with perfectionism. When this is the case, they may feel stuck with a project if they feel they aren’t doing it as well as possible. They may delay completing an assignment if the best ideas aren’t coming to them, or if they believe they’ll make less than a top grade.
People with anxiety can have a tendency to feel overwhelmed, which can make it hard to begin a task at all. When we perceive an overload of information, it can be hard to know where to begin.
Procrastination’s Role in Depression
People with depression tend to dwell on negative thoughts and experience self-doubt. They’re more likely to struggle with low self-esteem and believe they cannot carry out the task at hand.
Lower energy levels and difficulty motivating oneself are two common symptoms of depression as well. If someone can’t muster the energy to complete a task, they may find it easier to put it off until they feel better. With depression, though, it can be difficult to gauge if—or when—someone feels motivated enough to complete what they need to.
They may also ruminate on past procrastination and lack self-compassion, which can further the cycle of putting things off. Indecisiveness, another symptom of depression, also contributes to procrastination.
Procrastination and ADHD
Procrastination is a symptom of the inattentive type of ADHD (versus the hyper-impulsive type of the condition).
People with the inattentive presentation of ADHD—as well as those with the combined presentation of both the inattentive and hyper-impulsive types of ADHD—can have difficulty regulating attention, staying organized, and can be easily distracted. They can also struggle with aspects of executive functioning, including working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. All of these factors can interfere with starting and completing tasks.
Hyperfixation is another symptom of ADHD that can contribute to procrastination. When people become extremely focused on tasks they enjoy, they are more likely to avoid less compelling responsibilities. They become so absorbed in the engrossing activity that they lose track of time or lose awareness of their environment.
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How Do I Know if Procrastination Is Impacting My Life?
If any of the above seems familiar, it’s very possible that you’ve resorted to procrastinating—and it’s possible that the behavior has started to inch its way into impacting other parts of your life. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common ways to tell if putting off tasks have started to affect you beyond a missed deadline.
You Are Anxious—Even About Tasks You Successfully Completed Before
Procrastination can cause anxiety if you think the task in question is not worth your time. You may find yourself struggling to accept a project and complain that it is boring, has no meaning, and won’t make any difference.
If the undertaking doesn’t generate a clear reward, like income, it can be even harder to finish. In such situations, you may not even recognize you’re struggling. Your mind may not register that you are fearful or anxious.
You Start Worrying About Not Meeting the Required Results
One of the most common symptoms of procrastination is fear of a negative or unknown outcome. If you’re fueled by anxiety, you may feel that you are inadequate, incapable, or a failure.
You may put off tasks because you are afraid of not achieving “perfect” results. You may also fear being criticized. Avoidance of these feelings may contribute to pushing back deadlines, stockpiling tasks, and getting comfortable with not taking action.
You Resent Tasks You Had Been Comfortable Doing
Procrastination can make you resent engaging in activities or projects you once enjoyed. This general resentment may transfer to other daily activities, such as waking up on time, going to the gym, or doing dishes.
When it comes to task-related resentment, people often feel like the system doesn’t work for them. Some people grow to resent complying with rules or find them too strict when they didn’t feel this way before.
You Start Blaming Others for Your Procrastination
The mental health effects of procrastination manifest in different ways. They may include boredom, helplessness, or anger.
You may find it hard to admit you’re experiencing anxiety or have any responsibility for your poor performance. While other people or circumstances may sometimes contribute to your difficulties in completing a project, focusing blame externally can exacerbate the problem.
You Try To Be Perfect
It’s commonly said that perfectionism is fear in disguise. People who like things done “correctly” may struggle with accepting errors and mistakes in their lives. They’ll berate themselves for not achieving a desired outcome. They often hold others to the same unrealistic standards.
Perfectionists prefer working on projects alone rather than delegating tasks to others. They fear collaborators may not deliver what’s needed.
If you’re showing signs of perfectionism when you’ve never experienced this trait before, procrastination may be a factor.
Procrastination’s long-term effects include sleep deprivation, irregular eating patterns, and unhealthy regimens.
Many people do not realize that their procrastination may have psychological underpinnings. If unaddressed, the situation may deteriorate, resulting in consequences such as relationship difficulties or getting fired from a job.
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Tips for Overcoming Procrastination
Procrastination is a behavior that can be managed and overcome—with the right knowledge, tools, and support.
Here are a few tips to help you cope.
1. Whatever It Is, Just Start
The surest way to beat procrastination is to start doing what you have been dreading. Stop analyzing the project, and just begin to work on it.
While this may be easier said than done, it is possible to focus your mind to start tackling the task.
For example, you can decide to work for a brief period of time, even just 15 minutes. Once the time is up, you can reevaluate if you want to continue. You can even set a timer to hold yourself to this initial goal.
Once you begin a task, the next steps often flow naturally. Taking the initiative on that first action can be a springboard for momentum. You may end up realizing the task was easier than you expected.
2. Break the Task Down Into Small, Manageable Chunks
Sometimes we procrastinate when we feel overwhelmed. If you’ve been procrastinating a specific project because it feels like “too much,” make a plan.
Start by breaking the activity into smaller, more digestible parts. This makes the overall effort more manageable. Your mind registers that the tasks are small enough to be handled.
You can also create steps that allow you to complete the tasks on time. This step-by-step approach enables you to kickstart the work and achieve more than you might expect.
For the next step, start working on the framework you created. As you do this, you’ll notice you are moving forward without procrastinating.
Your stress may also slowly be replaced with a feeling of satisfaction that comes with letting go of fear and moving forward.
3. Become More Organized
People sometimes procrastinate because they overestimate how much they can achieve in a certain timeframe. They may also feel overwhelmed by tasks that keep pouring in from every direction.
Organizational strategies can be helpful in such cases.
For example, time management can limit procrastination behaviors. Listing your tasks, prioritizing them, and scheduling deadlines can be a start.
It can also be helpful to designate workspaces in your home that put you in the mindset for performing specific tasks. You’ll likely associate the area with the project, making it more likely to get to the task at hand.
You can limit distractions by closing applications on your computer. Placing your phone in another room can also help you focus.
4. Increase Your Motivation
We often let our emotions and negative thoughts get in the way of accomplishing what we need to do. We tend to avoid tasks that we’ve identified as lacking value.
Instead of resenting a task, introduce positive thoughts. Even rewarding yourself in small ways can help you get a handle on procrastination.
For example, you can increase your motivation to attend an exercise class by treating yourself to coffee with friends afterwards.
You can even reward yourself with a positive attitude by finding meaning in activities you tend to avoid. You may resent the term paper you’re writing, but you can focus on the college degree you’ll ultimately earn.
5. Understand That You Are Not Lazy
Procrastination is not laziness: it’s a behavior caused by the stress in our lives or unfounded negative beliefs we have about ourselves.
If you tend to procrastinate, don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, ask yourself if your behavior may be linked to fear, anxiety, ADHD, or another underlying issue.
Anxiety disorders are common, treatable, and can be managed. Learn more about the skills needed to control anxiety and live a healthy, happy life.
When To Seek Professional Help for Procrastination
The strategies outlined above can be useful for combating procrastination. If putting things off continues to interfere with your relationships, work, or well-being, though, it’s important to seek professional help. A licensed mental health provider can help you gain insight into behaviors that drive procrastination.
Therapy can help you reframe negative thoughts, find meaning in your activities, and embrace positivity. In therapy, you can learn time management skills, find ways to limit distractions, and develop productive habits.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) may be particularly helpful for procrastination. CBT explores the connections between thoughts and feelings. By changing the thoughts you have about an activity, you can change your attitude about it.
Consider how CBT can be applied to perfectionism and self-doubt. A therapist can help you become more aware of irrational beliefs that prevent you from completing activities. For example, they can help you explore why you think a homework assignment is only worth completing if you earn a perfect score.
Neuropsychological testing can assess problem solving, working memory, planning and organization, and cognitive flexibility.
Identifying the areas where you need help can often be the first step in effective treatment.
Executive Functioning Coaching
An executive functioning coach can address procrastination issues by helping you develop life-management skills, including setting and achieving goals, creating schedules, and managing emotions.
Certain medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression and anxiety or stimulants for ADHD can alleviate the symptoms of these conditions, including procrastination.
Consult with your primary care physician or mental health care provider to discuss whether this might be right for you.
If you or a loved one needs help managing mental health symptoms, McLean is here to help. Call us today at 617.855.3141 to learn more about treatment options.
Don’t Delay—Start Today
Most of us can relate to the boredom, frustration, and stress procrastination can cause. It’s important to realize that putting off projects is not a moral failing. Instead, it’s a very human tendency to avoid unpleasant feelings.
If we find ourselves frequently procrastinating, we’re likely caught up in an unhelpful cycle. We delay an activity to avoid stress, only to experience more stress when we confront the issue at the last-minute.
If we step back and consider the reasons we procrastinate, we can break this cycle. We can change our behaviors, try different approaches, and find the strength to get it all done.
Want More Information?
You may find these resources helpful:
- The Benefits of Taking a Mental Health Day
- Podcast: Managing Anxiety and Stress in the Workplace and at Home
- How To Deal With Stress Caused by Working From Home
- Everything You Need To Know About Depression
- A Parent’s Guide to College Student Mental Health
- Video: The Perks of Powering Down
- What You’ve Always Wanted To Know About ADHD
- Understanding Anxiety in Kids and Teens
- Become Friends With Your Anxiety
The Negative Effects of Procrastination – Solving Procrastination
Procrastination is the act of unnecessarily postponing decisions or actions. For example, if someone delays working on an assignment until right before its deadline for no reason, despite intending to work on it earlier, that person is procrastinating.
Procrastination is associated with a variety of dangers and negative effects, including worse academic performance, worse financial status, increased interpersonal relationship issues, reduced wellbeing, and worse mental and physical health.
Furthermore, many of these issues are connected with one another, which means that they tend to occur together, and that some of them can cause or exacerbate others. For example, procrastination can lead to mental health issues such as stress, which in turn can lead to issues such as reduced wellbeing, worse physical health, and worse academic and job performance.
Understanding the dangers of procrastination is important, because it can help you identify when and how procrastination is negatively affecting someone, including you, and because being aware of these issues can increase your and other people’s motivation to overcome procrastination. As such, in the following article you will learn more about the dangers of procrastination, which will allow you to identify and handle them as effectively as possible.
The dangers and negative effects of procrastination
For students, procrastination is associated with a wide range of academic issues, such as worse exam scores, worse grades, increased course failures, increased course withdrawals, and an increased likelihood of dropping out.
These issues are associated with the fact that procrastination tends to consume a lot of the students’ time, as students often report that procrastination occupies over a third of their daily activities, usually in the form of behaviors such as sleeping, watching TV, or playing video games.
Employment and financial issues
Procrastination is associated with various employment and financial issues, such as earning a lower salary, having shorter durations of employment, having a higher likelihood of being unemployed or under-employed (as opposed to working full‐time), and engaging in problematic financial behaviors (e. g., postponing paying bills or saving for retirement).
For example, a large-scale study found that an increase of a single point on a 5‐point scale measuring the tendency to procrastinate is associated with approximately a $15,000 drop in salary. Furthermore, the study also found that when people are split into two groups based on how much they procrastinate, those who tend to procrastinate more comprise 57% of the unemployed.
Procrastination is also problematic from the employer’s perspective, as it can reduce productivity and performance among employees. For example, procrastination often means that employees spend large portions of their day wasting time, and that they often rush to complete tasks right before deadlines, which can lead to low-quality work. Furthermore, because procrastination can make people more frustrated and stressed out at work, it can also make them more interested in leaving their current employer for a different one. Finally, procrastination can cause other types of issues for employers, for example when decisional procrastination among people in leadership positions negatively impacts the innovation of their employees.
Interpersonal relationship issues
Procrastination can lead to various issues when it comes to interpersonal relationships. For example:
- Procrastination can lead to issues in relationships with coworkers, for instance if you always fail to take care of your part of shared assignments on time.
- Procrastination can lead to issues in relationships with friends and family, for instance if you always show up late to events that you’re supposed to attend together.
- Procrastination can lead to issues in relationships with romantic partners, for instance if you always postpone taking care of household chores.
Procrastination can reduce people’s wellbeing and happiness, for example by causing them to experience various negative emotions, such as guilt, shame, frustration, and sadness.
In one survey, for instance, 94% of people indicated that procrastination has a negative effect on their happiness, and 18% indicated that this effect is extremely negative. Similarly, when students were asked how they felt after procrastinating, over 80% of their responses were categorized as negative.
Worse mental and physical health
Procrastination is associated with a wide range of mental health issues, such as stress, as well as physical health issues, such as an increased rate of illness.
Furthermore, procrastination is also associated with issues when it comes to adjusting to and properly dealing with health conditions. This can be due to various issues, such as poor habits (e.g., in terms of nutrition and self-care), and poor adherence to necessary monitoring and treatment.
In addition, specific types of procrastination are associated with specified types of health issues. For example, bedtime procrastination, which involves unnecessarily delaying going to bed, is associated with issues such as lack of sleep and increased fatigue.
Finally, procrastination is also associated with various disorders, such as depression and insomnia, but it’s unclear whether these associations are correlational or causational, and if they are causational, then in what direction, meaning that it’s unclear whether procrastination leads to these issues directly.
Delay in getting help
Not only does procrastination lead to various issues, but it’s also associated with an increased tendency to delay getting help for those issues, for example when it comes to seeking treatment for problems with mental and physical health.
Furthermore, procrastinators may delay or avoid other behaviors that can help them deal with their issues, as in the case of not exercising even though doing so could help them feel better both mentally and physically.
Increased future procrastination
Procrastination can, in various ways, lead to an increased likelihood of future procrastination, which can sometimes create a vicious self-perpetuating procrastination cycle.
For example, bedtime procrastination often leads to lack of sleep, which can lead to reduced capacity for self-regulation, and consequently to increased procrastination, which can lead to further lack of sleep, and so on.
Similarly, when someone repeatedly procrastinates on a certain task due to anxiety, this can make them more anxious about dealing with it, which can increase the likelihood that they’ll procrastinate on the task again in the future, as well as on related tasks.
In addition to the main dangers outlined above, procrastination can also lead to various other types of issues.
For example, procrastination can cause people to miss out on important opportunities, such as the opportunity to apply for a prestigious scholarship, or the opportunity to ask out a potential romantic partner.
Similarly, procrastination can delay people’s personal growth, for instance when it causes them to postpone learning valuable skills that they’re interested in, such as programming, or when it causes them to postpone developing useful habits that they’re interested in, such as reading.
Finally, procrastination is also associated with a wide range of other issues that can occur as a result of unnecessary delay, such as increased clutter and increased regret.
Procrastination is a common problem
In addition to being associated with a wide range of dangers and negative effects, procrastination is also a highly prevalent phenomenon.
For example, studies suggest that procrastination chronically affects 15%–20% of adults, and that approximately 25% of adults consider procrastination to be a defining personality trait for them.
Furthermore, many more people than that engage in various forms of procrastination in general. For example, in a study on an adult sample, 74% of people who were surveyed indicated that they go to bed later than they planned to at least once a week, with no external reason for doing so.
Finally, procrastination is especially common among certain populations, such as students. For example, studies show that approximately 80%–95% of college students engage in procrastination to some degree, approximately 75% consider themselves to be procrastinators, and approximately 50% say that they procrastinate in a consistent and problematic manner.
How to avoid the negative effects of procrastination
To avoid the negative effects of procrastination, you should use appropriate anti-procrastination techniques, such as breaking large tasks into manageable pieces, which will reduce your procrastination, and consequently also the negative effects that you experience as a result of it.
To figure out which anti-procrastination techniques you should use, start by reading the guide about why people procrastinate, to identify the causes of your own procrastination, and then read the guide on how to stop procrastinating, to select the anti-procrastination techniques that will be most appropriate in your particular situation.
Harm and consequences of procrastination | Blog 4brain
Do you manage to do everything on time? Do you have a habit of constantly putting off solving different tasks? Do you wait until the last moment before you start working? If you are familiar with this, then you are also familiar with procrastination - the tendency to delay doing things all the time (we wrote about this in detail in the article "Procrastination. Reasons and 10 ways to deal with it").
But long periods of time, lack of sleep and rest - this is not all that threatens the habit of delaying the solution of various issues. In fact, it is fraught with many negative consequences in almost all areas of life. And let's not beat around the bush, but let's talk about this topic specifically. We invite you to get acquainted with the main consequences of procrastination. Let's start with a few of the main ones. nine0003
Procrastination leads to the fact that a person experiences pressure on the psyche, and the negative impact of stress (including health) is known to be confirmed by many scientific studies. We agree that sometimes the body and psyche need a good “shake-up”, but if it continues for a long time, there is nothing good in it.
Initially, the body's reactions to pressure from outside helped a person to survive - he either began to actively fight, or ran away and looked for shelter. But today such situations do not occur often, because it is no longer necessary to survive. And the effects of stress begin to express themselves in other things, such as burnout. nine0003
Just remember how you felt and how you felt after working non-stop as a result of constantly postponing it. Most likely, you were exhausted, tired, became nervous and depressed; your body is failing. This lifestyle is not at all useful, and therefore it is not necessary to turn procrastination into it.
Stress most directly affects the effectiveness of a person's actions and the quality of his work. You don’t need to look far for examples - these are employees of organizations who make the stupidest mistakes in important documents, and promising athletes who overestimate their strengths, and students who get everything out of their heads during the exam. nine0003
It's very rare that projects and assignments completed just an hour before the deadline meet all the requirements. Most often they turn out to be ill-conceived, unfinished, untested, etc. This work lacks material, detail, clarity and perspective.
Burning deadlines, like a vise, begin to put pressure on thinking and narrow a person's horizons. And if he suddenly realizes with bitterness that the deadline has already arrived, and the project still needs to be finalized, there is only one way out - to hand it over to those who managed to quickly “concoct” it. And if the work of other people depends on the work of a person? It's close to a phenomenal fiasco. nine0003
Again, a striking example is business. How many cases are there when contracts for the largest transactions for fabulous sums are invalid due to banal errors in the initials of one of the partners?! Have you ever attended meetings and meetings that simply eat up time because the event was announced five minutes before the end of the working day? We can go on for a long time, but the essence is important to us.
If you delay until the last minute, it is foolish to expect an excellent result and high quality work. They can be achieved only by giving the tasks the necessary amount of time and attention. However, the solution to the problem is absurdly banal - determine the result that you need, and work at a pace that matches it, thinking through the work time. nine0003
Lack of control and discomfort
Procrastination is a direct road to deadlines, no matter what area of life it may concern. Even though you have time initially, procrastination leads to a deadline that leaves no choice. After that, the score goes on for minutes, because you need to make a decision, do the job. The opportunity to pay attention to anything else simply does not remain.
Doing everything at the last moment, as a rule, is very uncomfortable. Yes, you can take into account the fact that the deadlines themselves begin to adjust, because the body begins to produce adrenaline (it is caused by fear of the consequences of unfinished work). And this gives energy, which is why the work begins to argue faster. However, it is not always possible to affect the speed, and the work may take longer than originally planned. nine0003
Doing urgent and important things when they are practically due, and hoping that you will be in time, is not only inappropriate, but also stupid. But how often do people start looking for plane tickets the day before departure, or try to book a table at a restaurant on December 31st? You will say that this is absurd, but it happens, and then trips are canceled, plans are frustrated, etc.
Another example: you almost managed to prepare a project, but at the last moment you realized that you urgently need information from another person, and he just went on vacation just yesterday. You have to hand in work unfinished. And if you had started work earlier, you would have understood earlier that information was needed, and you could have caught a person on the spot. nine0003
So it turns out that procrastination, firstly, makes it impossible to choose the best time for work, and secondly, it does not allow you to keep the situation under control. Delaying the solution of problems, you automatically begin to depend on the circumstances, and they do not always add up favorably. Well, if it concerns something not serious, but if the question touches on something vital?
Other Consequences of Procrastination
The stress, inefficiency, lack of control, and discomfort we've discussed are not all the consequences of procrastination. But before we continue, let me encourage you to read the article "Interesting Facts About Procrastination", in which we have collected very interesting information on this topic. Now let's point out other consequences of procrastination:
- Constant postponing of things “for tomorrow” often causes serious life problems. Cases and tasks are most often not solved either tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or even in a week. And all new ones are added to them, forming a huge array of outstanding tasks. As a result, procrastination leads to the fact that you can simply get bogged down in the accumulated difficulties, and it will be very, very difficult to get out of them.
- Procrastination leads to a decrease in self-esteem, and this is a scientifically proven fact. nine0047 Procrastination lacks regular results, and this affects self-esteem. People for whom procrastination becomes a habit, over time, may well lose all faith in themselves and their strength to achieve goals.
- Procrastination contributes to the development of chronic guilt. Regular failure to fulfill the promises made to oneself and others and the obligations taken upon oneself plunges one into despondency, deprives one of inspiration, greatly reduces productivity, and takes away faith in success. But it is also important that all this becomes permanent and negatively affects the quality of work, relationships and life in general. nine0048
- Procrastination negatively affects attention - it impairs the ability to concentrate and focus. If a person regularly puts off things, they begin to fill his thoughts, and this happens until they are done. This does not allow you to focus on current tasks that require immediate solutions. As a result, results and efficiency suffer again.
- Procrastination leads to a deterioration in relationships with others. Non-obligatory people are no longer taken seriously, they are considered irresponsible people who cannot be relied upon, they are no longer trusted. Those around them distance themselves from procrastinators, and the latter begin to withdraw into themselves, engage in self-digging and live with a sense of resentment towards the “whole world”. nine0048
- Procrastination can cause the development of psychosomatics - diseases that develop against the background of negative mental states. Many studies have shown that procrastination leads to depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, metabolic disorders, dystonia and other ailments. And this is largely due to the negative impact on the body of unreleased energy.
- Delaying things leads to another problem of fundamental importance - the loss of life guidelines. nine0047 A constant feeling of psychological discomfort, guilt, lack of results and other factors shift priorities. A person ceases to understand what he wants from life, begins to get entangled in himself, and all his aspirations and desires remain unfulfilled.
- Procrastination becomes an addiction. It is like a bad habit, which is becoming more and more difficult to give up, firmly eats into a person's life. And in the most advanced stages, it is almost impossible to get rid of it on your own. That is why psychologists, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts around the world are seriously studying this problem, trying to find a solution to it. nine0048
Procrastination makes a person suffer from the fact that he has to do something, but cannot force himself. Decreased productivity, problems in studies, relationships and career, endless rush and poor quality of work, no joy from "average" success, huge waste of time and effort, loss of self-esteem - all this is the result of procrastination.
And if the feeling of worthlessness, indiscipline is already unbearable, if you are tired of feeling like a failure and not respecting yourself, if you really want to achieve goals and realize your plans, this ailment needs to be eliminated. (Recall that we wrote in detail about how this is done in the article “Procrastination. Reasons and 10 ways to deal with it.”)
But still, if the habit of procrastination exists in your life at the moment, you don't need to give up and lose heart. It makes sense to try to find some positive aspects in it. Such an approach may well serve as an incentive for change and gaining faith in oneself.
An alternative view of procrastination
It may sound somewhat paradoxical, but there are several advantages to procrastination. First, it is energy. Work that you do not want to come into contact with for as long as possible forces you to pull to the last (otherwise, you would most likely get down to business earlier), and the fear of not completing it by the required deadline will give you extra strength. nine0003
In the end, you will probably do everything you need, even if not very well. But already from this you can take for yourself that even with the most unpleasant and seemingly overwhelming tasks you are able to cope. And this means that you have everything you need to solve the problem.
Secondly, in moments of urgent tasks, procrastination will help you focus as much as possible on what you are doing. Without expecting from yourself, you will notice that you do not take unnecessary breaks, do not get distracted, do not do any minor things, because the main thing must be done on time. nine0003
You can also benefit from this. In this case, procrastination shows that your abilities correspond to the complexity of the tasks. You are able, if necessary, to pull yourself together and act effectively. All you need to do is understand that the need is to work now, not the day before the deadline.
And thirdly, delay leads to acceleration. Due to the surge of energy and increased concentration, you begin to act at maximum speed. Your thoughts stop wandering aimlessly, because you understand that you may not be in time. Both mental operations and physical actions are performed much faster than usual. nine0003
This clearly demonstrates your ability to mobilize your resources. As soon as it becomes necessary, you immediately get involved in the work. So why not get involved in it not when there is no choice left, but for now you can act measuredly and calmly, having time to rest and do other things?
In fact, procrastinators quite often do everything they need to, in a timely manner and quite tolerably. In addition, you can procrastinate in different ways: while some spend hours watching TV, others are engaged in self-development through creativity, sports, or some kind of hobby. nine0003
However, all of the above in favor of procrastination should not be taken as if it is useful. What we have said should become just another indicator of a change in the vector of our movement - having all the resources and potential to solve our problems, it must be used wisely and without working to the point of wear and tear.
Procrastination has an enormous effect, of course, on the psychological and emotional level. Even if you somehow manage to keep up with everything and not let yourself or others down, after a while you will feel exhausted and cornered. nine0003
Do you really need stress, feelings of guilt and anxiety, a feeling of missed opportunities, when you can work calmly and productively, competently distributing time for everything you need? It is necessary to realize that we are people, not machines, and we will always have things to do, so for ourselves it is better to do so that there is enough time for everything.
We all understand perfectly well that it is much more pleasant to enjoy life, spend time with loved ones, watch good films, listen to music and travel than to work. But we must remember that there is a time for everything - both work and rest. It is necessary to appreciate the moments that we have for entertainment, but it is impossible to allow them to develop into idleness. nine0003
Procrastination is, of course, not a crime and not a mortal sin, but it is exactly what prevents us from living a full life and being happy. And from whatever alternative side we try to look at this phenomenon, it will always lead us to one conclusion - the fact of wasting time and effort, dissatisfaction with life and ourselves.
Treat your time and health with care, don't let laziness take over you, and then you will be able to do everything the way you need it, and when you need it! We wish you success! nine0003
Key words:1Psychoregulation, 1Management
10 consequences of procrastination
- Good to know
- 10 consequences of procrastination
Publication date . Posted in Lifestyle
Everyone today knows such a psychological term as procrastination. Moreover, in our time, many people to some extent felt for themselves what the habit of putting off important things for later means. But, procrastination is harmful to us, and manifests itself in negative consequences in many areas of our lives. Learn the negative consequences of procrastination to prevent such a development. So let's look at 10 consequences of procrastination. nine0003
1. Putting things off until later leads to serious problems in life. The accumulated cases are not solved tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and even later, because new daily tasks join them. As a result of the habit of procrastination, you can get bogged down in problems and find yourself in a dead end situation.
2. Procrastination entails a decrease in self-esteem - this has been proven by scientists. The lack of regular results in our lives takes a toll on self-esteem. A person who is used to postponing the implementation of plans runs the risk of losing faith in himself and his own strengths. nine0003
3. Another consequence is that procrastination plunges a person into chronic guilt. The feeling of guilt, in turn, deprives a person of inspiration, faith in success and does not allow him to be as productive as possible.
4. Due to procrastination, concentration of attention is significantly reduced. A person who puts off many things for later is forced to constantly think about them until they are completed. And this makes it difficult to concentrate on the work that he is doing at the moment.
5. The habit of procrastination also has a negative effect on social relationships. The procrastinator is no longer taken seriously, they are treated as an irresponsible person. Because of this, people move away, and the procrastinators themselves withdraw into themselves and live with a sense of resentment and injustice.
6. Another scientific fact is that a number of psychosomatic diseases can develop due to postponing. Thus, to date, a relationship has been established between procrastination and chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, VVD, and metabolic disorders.