Many people tend to think procrastination is very personal. That avoiding and putting off tasks is a personal decision that doesn’t affect them in ways other than creating a last-minute emergencies, less sleep, and possibly making more mistakes. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Procrastination affects the procrastinator…and others, in profound ways. Actually, procrastination has the potential to hurt their lives in several ways.
Procrastination is much more than putting things off until the last moment. In fact, many procrastinators seek counseling for the following issues only to learn they are actually struggling with the effects of procrastination:
You see, when most people procrastinate, they aren’t putting the tasks they need to complete out of their minds. More often than not, they are thinking about those tasks non-stop. The constant ruminating about what needs to be done can cause stress, anxiety, and more.
Even if procrastinators aren’t thinking about what they are putting off, their families and co-workers are, which can also create problems including mistrust, loss of respect, and worse. When you constantly put things off, you create a reputation for doing so, which can also hurt you at work or with clients, which can affect you in your wallet as well.
Let’s talk about this in a little bit more detail.
Under many circumstances, procrastination can affect your interpersonal relationships. If you tend to avoid tasks or put them off it can cause problems the people around you. When it comes to work, your team and clients may face delays when you don’t meet deadlines. Your family may feel let down when you fail to meet commitments. Even though procrastination may feel like it doesn’t impact others, it often does.
Many of the reasons people procrastinate are tied to deep-seated beliefs and thoughts that hold them back. Think to the reasons you do it? Do they include wanting instant results so you can feel that rush of dopamine? Feeling like you can’t concentrate so you put it off another day? Getting easily frustrated with the lack of progress you are making overall in life? Fear that you will be rejected or abandoned? Difficulty dealing with change and seeing it as a good thing? Or my all-time favorite, that terrible inner dialogue that says you aren’t good at anything and never will be? All of these feelings and thoughts can lead procrastinators to delay important tasks and can cause unnecessary stress at home and work.
If you work at home or outside the home for another person, procrastination can impact your income levels, how others see you, and your ability to receive promotions. It can affect your co-workers’ productivity and increase their workload when you don’t do your work on time or make sloppy mistakes due to doing it last minute.
If you’re self-employed, procrastination can cost you sales and customers, affect your ability to make important business decisions, and cause you to feel overwhelmed when you delay too many projects at once. If you happen to work for yourself, it may be harder to prevent procrastination since there isn’t anyone preventing you from putting things off.
We aren’t into solutions yet, but one way to resolve letting procrastination affect others is to get your teammates on board with giving you earlier deadlines than needed and for you to set tighter deadlines for yourself than you give to clients. This way, even when you do procrastinate while learning to kick the habit, you can review your work and still be early in your delivery.
It’s important to stop procrastinating and rebuild and maintain trust and confidence. Being proactive can increase the health of your relationships and help you build and manage your wealth.
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