Putting Things Off Can Lead To Big Problems Unless You Can Procrastinate Successfully
Everyone procrastinates. If someone says that they never do, they are lying to you. Experts define procrastination as: the voluntary delay of some important task that you intend to do, despite knowing that you’ll suffer as a result. Oftentimes, the realization of short-term gain or pleasure at the cost of long term consequences is what drives certain choices. We have all put something off in favor of doing something else, or maybe nothing at all.
Research at the University of Calgary found that somewhere between 80-95% of college students procrastinate. While that is an astronomical number, it is college students we are talking about. They are 18 to 22 years old and trying to figure it all out.
Subsequent studies by DePaul University showed that as much as 20% of adults are chronic procrastinators. This group of people often suffers from the fallout of putting things off. They could have relationship issues, or get reprimanded or fired at work, or maybe it is poor health.
The bottom line is that it is acceptable and even expected to occasionally procrastinate. However, habitual procrastination, or even not properly prioritizing what and when to procrastinate, can lead to big problems.
Habitual procrastinators have higher rates of depression and anxiety and poorer well-being, according to the Association for Psychological Science.
Fuschia Sirois, Psychological scientist from Bishop’s University in Quebec, reports that trait procrastination—that is, a tendency to delay important tasks despite the negative consequences—was significantly associated with having hypertension or cardiovascular disease (HT/CVD) even after controlling for the effects of age, race, educational level, and other personality factors.
Evidence suggests that putting off important tasks causes stress. This additional stress contributes to a negative impact on the body, increasing vulnerability for illness. Previous research has linked chronic procrastination to a range of stress-related health problems such as headaches, digestive issues, colds and flus, and insomnia. Everyone has that friend – or maybe it is even you – who claims to wait until the last minute because they do their best work under pressure. Unfortunately, this is just not realistic as the stress will eventually catch up. With that in mind, here are some video tips to help you to procrastinate… but procrastinate successfully.
Susan Sly is a best selling author, work life balance expert, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television and the CBN. Susan is the mother of five children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.