We have all done it, haven’t we?
We have all put off doing important things until the last moment and then regretted doing so.
For some reason, it seems like the human brain doesn’t want to do “work.”
As such, it keeps on putting it off until it absolutely has to engage. Of course, not everyone is the same. And the degree of procrastination varies from person to person.
However, it’s something that affects us all.
Although procrastination may seem harmless in many cases, the truth is that it can have dire consequences on the various aspects of your life.
It can adversely affect your physical and mental health and also your career, finances, and relationships.
Below, I have mentioned some of these consequences or effects of procrastination so to help you take corrective measures in your life.
1) Increased Anxiety
I think this is a no-brainer.
Whoever has procrastinated in their life knows how anxiety-inducing it can be to watch that deadline approach.
As you rush to complete your work or commitments at the last moment, you feel like you are being stretched thin, and you have absolutely no idea how in the world you’re going to manage.
This takes a toll on your mind and elevates your anxiety levels.
It fills your body with stress hormones, and these have a terrible impact on your mental health.
2) Sleep Deprivation
I can’t even count how many nights I have spent toiling away at projects so that they get completed on time.
Of course, when you have a fraction of the time required to finish a task, you will want to make use of nighttime. And you might even succeed in doing so.
But at what cost?
Sleep deprivation is already a problem that torments about half of the world’s population.
And to do that to your own self is tragic, to say the least. Especially considering its negative impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
3) Waste of Time
“Waste of time” is the very definition of procrastination.
You waste valuable time doing nonsensical things and only start getting serious during the last stage. This is especially typical of younger people who like to spend their time on video games, socializing, and having fun in a million different ways.
As a general principle in life, you should never waste your time. You might not realize it, but your time is limited.
And before you know it, it will be gone from your hands like sand slips from your palms.
4) Missed Opportunities
The thing is, life presents you with tons of opportunities all the time.
Most of the time, you are not conscious of them, and at other times, well, you are “not available.”
Just think about how many opportunities you might have missed just because you were procrastinating.
You might have thought to yourself that there is plenty of time to take advantage of a particular situation and then watched it slip away. You never know what opportunity can lead you to something greater. So, missing any is a huge loss.
5) Lower Quality of Work
It is only obvious that when you do a week’s worth of work in one day, the quality of your work will suffer.
In fact, the anxiety you feel during that time will add to that poor performance.
I am sure you have experienced this plenty of times while completing your school/college assignments.
While the results surely mattered then, they matter much more when you are running your business or working at a job. The consequences are much more tangible.
6) Lower Self-Esteem
This point is kind of an extension of the previous point.
When you constantly procrastinate, you constantly perform poorly. And when you constantly perform poorly, your self-esteem will suffer.
You might know at the core of your heart that you have the ability to do a good job.
However, when you keep proving yourself wrong time and again, you start believing that you are no good.
This not only negatively impacts your work life, but it also hampers your personal life. Remember, the consequences always spill over from one sphere of life to the other.
7) Consequences At Work
Any company takes the issue of procrastination seriously.
After all, they pay their employees expecting top-notch productivity. So, if you keep putting off projects and meetings, you can imagine what the consequences will be.
Instead of getting promoted, you might get demoted. And that too if you are lucky. A lot of people lose their jobs when they don’t meet the performance benchmarks.
This is equally true when it is your own business. You can’t expect it to grow unless you strive as if your life depended on it.
8) Relationship Issues
Procrastination doesn’t only happen in terms of work.
People procrastinate on their personal duties and obligations as well.
For instance, you might be invited to a party and arrive late. Or you might put off buying the perfect gift for your spouse for your anniversary and then settle for something that would shatter their expectations.
Or you might keep putting off chores that is sure to start a conflict in the house!
The point is, procrastination can be damaging to some of your most cherished relationships.
9) Damage To Your Reputation
As I write this, I am reminded of a very popular saying, “It takes years to build your reputation, and only minutes to ruin it.”
This is what procrastination can do to you.
When you keep putting off things, you will obviously not fulfill your responsibilities.
Even if you do, it will only be a half-hearted attempt from your side. As such, people in your life will not see you as a dependable person.
Imagine your family not trusting you to do a certain task within a certain timeframe!
10) Increased Procrastination
Procrastination begets procrastination.
I think we all know this by instinct.
But let me explain it anyway.
Let’s say you procrastinated on a piece of work and still managed to finish it on time.
Now, the next time you are faced with a similar situation, you will be more likely to procrastinate.
This is because you were previously able to complete the work within the deadline, and you think you will be able to do it again. But what if you are not? What if it turns out to be an extremely important juncture in your life that you ultimately miss?
11) Reduced Well-being
Well-being is a state where you feel pleasant, satisfied, and happy.
And this happens when the different spheres of your life are well taken care of.
But if you tend to procrastinate, it is only logical that things will get haywire all the time. You will probably have a ton of assignments pending at work, a ton of chores pending at home, a few friends that you haven’t seen in ages, and so on.
Obviously, you won’t experience well-being amidst all this chaos!
12) Poor Decision Making
Any important piece of work requires you to plan and strategize to the best of your ability.
Even then, things could go south, and you might have to improvise.
Now, think about how things proceed when you procrastinate.
Since you “wake up” at the last moment, you don’t even have time to do the actual work, let alone plan and form strategies.
Therefore, you keep making one bad decision after the other, and it invariably leads you to bad outcomes.
13) Lack of Personal Growth
Personal growth requires learning a variety of skills, life lessons, and ways to combat the challenges of life.
And all these require dedication and patience to build.
If you procrastinate on even the simplest of tasks, you certainly can’t expect to make progress in your personal development. As such, you will never be able to tap into your potential and become the best version of yourself.
14) Not Achieving Your Dreams
This is an extension of the previous point.
If you can grow as an individual, your chances of achieving your dreams will be quite slim.
Sure, you can randomly stumble upon success, but I guess that’s a one-in-a-billion kind of an event.
You see, achieving your dreams requires you to be laser-focused.
It requires you to put in the work and follow through every single day. Your dreams don’t just land in your lap one fine day. You have to go and grab them.
15) Resentment From Peers/Loved Ones
Finally, we come to how procrastination may directly affect your peers or loved ones.
I am sure you have had a situation where there was so much work that you had to call in for help. You got your friends, family members, or colleagues to help you out and finish the work in time.
Now, you might have felt great at that point in time, but consider how your peers or loved ones would feel if you keep doing it.
Most probably, there would be resentment from their side if you keep putting them in that position. Slowly, this can take a toll even on the strongest of relationships!
Check our article about why we procrastinate here.