Everyone knows (to a certain extent) that procrastination is a negative habit, because it has a negative impact on a person’s productiveness and general reliability in terms of accomplishing tasks and fulfilling responsibilities. Most (if not all) of the things that are worth pursuing and accomplishing require timeliness and consistency.
A person who habitually procrastinates will only do something if “he feels like it”. Sometimes, procrastinators completely ignore the fact that they have responsibilities and commitments to other people. Procrastination is more than just a simple productivity issue.
It can become a deeply-rooted cause of personal and professional malaise, because it can literally creep into every aspect of your life. To illustrate just how big the problem can be, I would like to take the opportunity to discuss the various effects of this habit with you. Here are some of the most notable negative consequences of procrastination:
- You feel less responsible for your actions, because you no longer want to take action. Whenever someone asks you to do something, you tend to think of a dozen or more reasons why you can’t do what is being asked. In the end, you do nothing, or you end up doing something that is not completely productive.
- After a while, your procrastination catches up with you. People become angry with, or distrustful of, you. You may become anxious to catch up with the things that you should have been doing. You also feel self-critical, and this ignites a vicious mental cycle of bitterness, and finding people to blame for the problems brought about by habitual procrastination.
- You may not be doing anything at the moment, but you keep thinking of the things you have been held responsible for. Your mind is trying to warn you of the consequences, and you end up worrying about your responsibilities most of the day. The worrying remains because you still choose not to act upon your own mind’s warnings that you have to start, or you will end up having to face the negative consequences of your inaction.
- When people start criticizing you because you procrastinate, you will feel like rebelling. Rebellious behavior often begins with the feeling that you are being victimized by someone or something. The knee-jerk response is rebellion.
Unfortunately, procrastination is the lowest form of rebellion. It has never been found useful in accomplishing necessary changes in a person’s career or personal life. The only thing that procrastination is good at is accumulating problems, so that they will eventually bury the habitual procrastinator.
- A procrastinator may develop a false kind of perfectionism. He becomes critical of his own skills and abilities to finish what needs to be done. He focuses on flaws and faults (imagined or not), and uses these as excuses not to do things in a timely fashion. If other people are involved, a procrastinator-perfectionist may choose to play an endless blame game if something is not finished on time. Perfectionism, coupled with the procrastination and petty rebellion, is the perfect formula for failing any kind of pursuit.
- The procrastinator’s personal affairs are also impacted by his habit. Family members may become critical of his behavior, and he may feel like an outsider in his own home.