The many consequences of procrastination

May 17, 2023
Natalie sitting on a couch reading

Procrastination is something that tends to feel SO good in the moment but SO awful later. Think about it - I'm sure you have experience with this! For example, I can recall back in college putting off studying for an exam until the night before. When that night came around, I was in full-blown panic mode, super stressed out. And, well, naturally, I didn't get a great grade!

There are plenty of consequences that stem from procrastinating. Taking a long hard look at them now will hopefully help you realize they're exactly what you want to avoid, motivating you to get started on a task sooner rather than later!

Missed deadlines

Procrastination can lead to missed deadlines, which can have significant consequences, particularly in the workplace or academic settings. Missing deadlines is one of the most dangerous effects of procrastination, as deadlines are crucial to maintaining an orderly and productive work or school environment. 

Increased stress and anxiety

If you procrastinate, you'll likely find yourself dealing with increased stress and anxiety, specifically when deadlines are quickly approaching. The pressure to complete tasks in a crunched period of time can become overwhelming, which can negatively affect your mental health and overall well-being. 

Deadline pressure is real, and we all struggle with it from time to time. The overwhelming feelings of "I have no time to get this done," or "I didn't get this done" can be a big factor causing more stress and anxiety in your life... and it's something that can be avoided!

Poor performance

When you delay doing something until the last minute, the lack of time you have can lead to poor performance and outcomes. Working under a time crunch disables some of the skills you might have because your primary motivation is to get the task at hand done and out of the way.

Allowing yourself ample time to complete a task is the best way to prevent poor performance. This way, you won't get something done simply for the sake of getting it done. More time leads to more opportunities to fix mistakes and produce better work.

Damaged relationships

Another effect of procrastination is that it might lead to strained relationships, whether that be with coworkers, friends, or family members. When we delay tasks, we sometimes fail to follow through on commitments, therefore causing lack of trust and reliability. Unfulfilled promises may lead to disappointment that, over time, can be damaging in the workplace and within friendships.

Regret and self-blame

Sometimes, when we procrastinate and miss deadlines or fail to achieve our goals, we end up feeling regretful and wallow in self-blame. Furthermore, procrastination can cause us to doubt our abilities and self-worth, as we may start to wonder why we didn't start sooner or work harder. The good news is you can get ahead of that feeling, I promise!

All in all, procrastination can lead to many different, negative consequences. By recognizing the effects of procrastination, you can put a plan in place to get your to dos done and avoid the negativity altogether! This includes developing effective time management habits, seeking support from others, and practicing self-compassion. The ultimate thing to remember here to not be too hard on yourself - giving yourself grace will help you achieve your goals more quickly!

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