Thursday, May 12, 2011

Procrastination – How it Affects our Daily Lives

Stress is good for us and perfectly normal, just as a little procrastination is normal and expected of us. Who doesn’t put off a task we find difficult, tedious or unpleasant?

However, once procrastination becomes a pattern, it can affect our lives in an unhealthy way. One of the most obvious affects of regular procrastination is increased stress levels. Stress has been linked many major illnesses and diseases. Too much stress, over the long term, can literally kill you.

Procrastination is something we can control. Failing to control it leads to feelings of guilt and anxiety which grows greater as the task we are putting off becomes more urgent. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. We may find ourselves asking What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just get myself together and do this?

Part of the problem is that the longer we put off a task, and the more ingrained the habit of procrastination becomes, the more difficult it is to ‘get yourself together’. Procrastination behaviours have become your norm.

Putting off the inevitable can cost you money, friends, and opportunities. Your personal relationships suffer as your self-esteem declines. Prolonged stress and anxiety do not make us pleasant people to be around. Our friends get tired of being encouraging (particularly when they don’t see us helping ourselves out of our morass) and become dismissive – or disappear altogether.

At its most extreme, procrastination can cost you significant time and money. Procrastinate enough at work and you could be out of a job. Put off writing that Great American Novel long enough and you will never even get close to completing it. Your masterpiece could die with you.

So, what do we do to break the cycle? In my next post in this series, I will deal with how to address and manage the problem of Procrastination NOW!

Hey, why put it off? I’ll have the post for you tomorrow. I promise.

Photo courtesy of graur razvan ionut at

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