Bad Effects Of Procrastination
We’ve recently tackled some of the reasons why you might procrastinate everything. As I mentioned there’s many reasons why we all procrastinate, I attempted to explore some of the top ones. Beyond just the reasons why folks tend to procrastinate, it’s important to take a look at the bad effects of procrastination. Unfortunately the more we procrastinate, the more it works against us. There are a variety of bad effects of procrastination.
The bad effects of procrastination are as varied of some of the reasons why we procrastinate. For some smaller things, it’s not really that big a deal. If I procrastinate and decide to skip mowing the lawn today, I can take care of it tomorrow. No big. On the other hand if I procrastinate going to the doctor when I’ve felt dizzy every day for a month, that can have some much worse effects. Let’s take a look at some of the bad effects of procrastination.
Your Health Suffers
Part of this is pretty simple. If you feel something is wrong with your body and you procrastinate going to the doctor, it could get worse. As we discussed some people procrastinate out of fear – they don’t want to know. The longer you wait, sometimes the worse it is. Not always, but sometimes. Fear of finding out something is wrong is a major reason why people procrastinate going to the doctor.
Another health based bad effect of procrastination is stress. When you continually procrastinate many things, you are adding to your own stress level. Ongoing procrastination makes your stress level go up on a daily basis, and that can be hard on your body as well as your mind. Some people get upset stomachs because of stress. Other effects of stress can be lack of sleep, muscles that hurt more than they should, skin problems, and even heartburn. If procrastination is a way of life for you, chances are your body is showing some of the effects.
Your Self-Confidence Takes a Hit
back at the bottom of your to do list, you feel like a loser. It makes you feel bad about yourself.
If you think about it this is a vicious circle. You don’t feel good about yourself, and you procrastinate somethings you know you should take care of. And when you skip taking care of things you know you should do, you feel worse about yourself. And over and over and over. One sure way to break this horrible cycle is to stop procrastinating. You know you’ll feel better about yourself when you do!
Your Career Stagnates
When you procrastinate consistently at work it can have a negative impact on your career. It’s pretty easy to see why. If you get a reputation for being the person that can’t get done what’s supposed be done, people stop coming to you. Who wants to rely on the person that procrastinates everything? No one, that’s who. You get viewed accurately as unreliable. Be the person that gets the important things done before it’s needed.
I want to be clear about something here. Many of our job consist of important and impactful work as well as some mundane crap. I would always advocate focusing on the big items that are important to your job and your career. If you’re a sales guy, go make calls and sales. If you’re an accountant, make sure your spreadsheets are looking good and pretty. Don’t worry about procrastinating on the stuff that is basically a time waster. People who manage their work schedules around incoming email know exactly what I’m talking about.
Your Relationships Are Weak
Procrastination affects your personal relationships in a similar manner as your working relationships. If you are viewed as the guy that never gets done what he’s supposed to, people stop looking at you as a stand-up guy. If you show yourself to be reliable and do what you say you’re going to do, it helps your credibility. Mean what you say and say what you mean.
Think about if your mom likes to talk to you once a week, just to catch up. It means a lot to her that you spend 30 minutes on the phone filling her in on your life and listening to what’s going on with hers. That’s important. Now think about if you blow that call time on a regular basis because you are always behind. You procrastinated at work on a report and you had to stay late to finish it (and probably did a sloppy job anyway) and then you’re too late to call your mom. What a loser.
Same thing if your significant other relies on you to do something that’s important to her or him. And you always seem to procrastinate for whatever bulls**t excuse you tell yourself. There will come a time when they don’t even care enough to ask you to do it anymore.
Your Quality is Crap
If you procrastinate a lot that usually means you are speeding like Wile E. Coyote to get whatever task it is you blew off longer than you should. When you are frantically going through the motions to get something done, most times your quality is going to suffer. If something would normally take you 2 hours to do a good job and you pound it out in 1 hour, quality becomes job 3. Once again, if you become known as they guy that always does a sloppy job, people decide that can’t rely on you.
Now this isn’t always a bad thing right? If you hate doing laundry and you “accidentally” do a bad job more than a few times, your wife probably won’t want you doing it anymore. In theory anyway. That being said, it’s probably best to be selective here. Don’t get the reputation for always doing sloppy work.
People Don’t Like You
When you procrastinate on a regular basis it makes other people pick up your slack. If there’s any sort of team concept to what you procrastinate about, someone else will have to do it. This is of course glaringly true on a work project but it also spills into your personal life. If you’ve got the research part of your team project and you don’t do it, someone else has to. If you’re supposed to mow the lawn and home and you keep putting it off, eventually someone will have to take care of that.
When people have to do their own portion PLUS yours, after a while they like you less and less. And after enough of it, they don’t like you in general.
Your Time Slips Away
Look man, life is full and it’s hard enough to create time for the things that are important to you. When you procrastinate you are wasting time. Let’s face it, when you are procrastinating doing something it’s not usually because you’re doing something more fulfilling. Typically you are wasting time doing something that isn’t really helping you with anything. Stuff like watching TV or playing with your phone or laying around. Sometimes it’s good to help you relax but mostly you’re wasting time.
Time is limited. It’s one of those things we all have the same amount of each and every day. Don’t waste it with procrastinating things you should be doing.
We already discussed some of the reasons we procrastinate. Now we’ve got a list of some of the bad effects of procrastination. As you can see if you are a chronic procrastinator it affects your life in a variety of negative ways. Everything from your health to your relationships to your career are negatively impacted by procrastination. In short, if you are a procrastinator it’s time to button that up and quit running away from what needs to be done.
You can see how getting rid of this habit will help improve a lot of areas of your life.
Quit waiting, go kick procrastination to the curb.
All my best,