Here are 10 ways that procrastination is holding you back from a better, happier life:
- Altered Priorities
Procrastination always alters priorities in a bad way. When you’re motivated by the fear that leads to procrastination, priority one is always putting things off whenever you can. No matter how important the task, the longer you can avoid it the better. This could mean anything from shunning family responsibilities to altering your work schedule so you can complete easier tasks before more urgent ones. Whatever the case, altering your priorities in order to fulfill your need to procrastinate can have disastrous results.
- Poor Financial Decisions
Procrastination is the root cause of far too many poor financial decisions that people make every day. For example, most functioning adults can handle the responsibility of using a credit card, but when procrastination keeps you from paying off credit card purchases on time, it can quickly add up to serious trouble. Or you may have simply put off going through your monthly bills a little too long and found yourself scrambling to meet all your payment deadlines. No matter how much money you make, finances require responsibility and timeliness, and can become a devastating calamity if bogged down by procrastination.
- Professional/Employment Troubles
In the long run, there is no room for procrastination in the professional world. You may be able to get by for awhile putting off a few important work tasks here and there, but eventually employers will figure out what’s up. This may also keep you from better employment opportunities down the road.
- Failure to Seek Help or Treatment
Getting professional help for an issue that requires it can be difficult for anyone. Procrastination can be the route through which an individual avoids getting the help they need immediately. For example, not seeing a doctor, optometrist, or dentist when symptoms surface can lead to serious consequences. As explained in this article, delaying the decision to seek treatment is a decision itself.
- Deterioration of Relationships
If you are a frequent-to-chronic procrastinator, your personal relationships are more than likely to be damaged or deteriorate altogether. Even those who love you most can only hang on so long while you continue to cause harm to their lives with your behavior. If your procrastination has led you to isolate yourself from friends and family, it can be difficult for them to know how to help you.
Procrastination is all about short-term gratification. Avoiding the realities and responsibilities of daily life may bring you immediate relief, but will cause anxiety that slowly builds up over time. Anxiety brought on by procrastination can be emotionally paralyzing and even lead to health problems down the road.
- Low Self-Esteem
Frequent procrastination leads to frequent defeat—which in turn can lead to various self-esteem issues. Procrastination is something just about everyone does to some degree or another, but it becomes a problem when it is self-defeating. Constant self-defeating behavior can never foster a high self-esteem, it can only ruin one.
The anxiety and low self-esteem that come from procrastination can very easily lead to depression. Many procrastinatory behaviors will fuel depression and make it particularly difficult to get help, which is why it’s important to take steps toward correcting procrastination before depression sets in.
- Poor Social Skills
Even the most socially savvy person can become socially inept overtime if extreme procrastination is part of their daily life. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, and/or a low self-esteem due to procrastination, chances are you will have lost the ability to interact with others in a meaningful way.
- Missed Opportunities
There’s no end to the opportunities—big and small—that an individual can miss out on, or just flat out turn down because of procrastination. Comedian Louis CK recently made a joke about missing whole career opportunities just so he can sleep in for a few more hours. What this joke taps into is the human ability to avoid risk of judgment, even if that risk has great potential for reward. Procrastination is a readily available tool to avoid the risk that comes with what otherwise might be an exciting, life changing opportunity.
How is procrastination holding you back? Awareness is the first step to making important changes. Take some time to reflect on the areas of your life that are often affected by procrastination and start making changes to avoid these undesired consequences. The next time you find yourself tempted to procrastinate, choose to seize the day instead.
Andy Andersen is a writer who explores his craft through a wide variety of mediums. When he’s not working on various writing projects, he’s probably working on his music, listening to stand-up comedy, delving into the pantheons of American and English literature, or enjoying anything sci-fi with his wife. Andy believes in the aesthetics and beauty of the written word, and strives to provide well-written, useful content for his readers.