I used to joke that I was the “queen of procrastination” like it was something to be proud of. But, as I found out the hard way, it’s no joking matter. Procrastination costs you big time. In terms of wellbeing, self-confidence, creativity productivity, and a whole host of other ways. The biggest one for me is that it cost me in terms of control over my life, and let me tell you, it’s not a nice feeling.
I had a meeting the other day with someone who, within an hour, had set my mind at ease over a situation that has caused me severe anxiety for years. I’m not going to go into details on what the situation is, but suffice to say if I hadn’t procrastinated on setting up this meeting – for years! – it would have been dealt with and I’d be well on my way to that beach house I keep dreaming about.
Needless to say, I don’t call myself a queen of procrastination anymore. It’s not a joke, and it can have serious consequences. These days, I’m all about practicing get-stuff-doneness and crossing things off my to-do list every single day.
Here are 5 ways procrastination costs you in your life:
1. Procrastination costs your self-image
Procrastination has such a negative effect on your self-image and self-esteem. When you put off doing something you know has to be done, you can feel like you’re being lazy or not living up to your potential. And that can lead to self-doubt, negative self-talk, and all the other nasty stuff that has you judging yourself and finding yourself lacking.
2. Procrastination costs you productivity
Procrastination has a significant effect on your productivity, and not in a good way. It makes it harder to achieve your goals and complete tasks on time. The worst part is that when you put off doing something until the last minute you end up with a rushed, half-assed job that you’re really not proud of.
The truth is, procrastination leads to a massive backlog of work that piles up over time, making it even harder to catch up and, ironically, may cause you to put things off even more.
3. And it also costs you motivation
Not only is this a direct effect of the procrastination costs to your productivity because of that backlog of work, it makes it even harder to get motivated to start or finish the things you need to.
When you delay doing something, it’s even harder to start, opening the door to being easily distracted by shiny objects and other tasks. Like, have you ever noticed that when you have a project you don’t want to start, it becomes imperative that the house needs a good cleaning instead?
This can all lead to a lack of motivation and a feeling of being stuck, making it harder to accomplish your goals.
4. Procrastination costs in missed opportunities
Procrastination definitely costs you in missed opportunities. Who knows how many opportunities I’ve missed out on because I didn’t take care of my issues in a timely manner.
When you procrastinate on taking action, you may miss a chance to land a new job, earn a promotion, or take advantage of a unique opportunity. It can also cause you to miss important deadlines that also come with significant consequences (think tax filing deadlines, funding application deadlines, etc.)
5. Procrastination costs you increased stress
The final way that procrastination can cost you is a culmination of all the other ways mentioned here. Procrastination increases your stress levels exponentially. I’m pretty sure at least one of my heart attacks can directly be attributed to procrastinating on my issues.
When you put off doing something, it creates feelings of guilt and anxiety, which then kicks off all those negative emotions and self-doubt. And while I’m no expert, I have no doubt that the stress brought on by procrastination can lead to whole host of health problems.
As you can see, procrastination comes with significant costs and negative impacts on your life in all areas. Take some time to educate yourself and build an understanding of the impact of procrastination. If you do, it will be easier for you to take steps to break the cycle and develop healthy habits that lead to success.
Whether it’s setting smaller goals, breaking tasks into manageable steps, or seeking support from friends and family, many strategies help you overcome procrastination and achieve your goals. We’ll be talking about these in future articles, so stay tuned.