I’ve talked before about what it’s like for a procrastinator to pack. Well, it would seem that my tendencies have once again caught up to me. I recently took a trip and put off packing until the day I left. As a result, I forgot my laptop charger and wasn’t able to get any of the work done that I told myself I would do while I was gone. I think it’s safe to say my procrastination contributed to my forgetfulness, and I ended up falling behind on my schedule.
This was by no means the first time I’ve forgotten things because I waited too long to do something. It’s a fairly common occurrence for me. You see, you’re bound to forget things when you procrastinate. It’s one of the negative side effects that you sign up for, but it’s by no means the only one. Let’s take a look at a few of the other downsides.
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This may or may not be true, but I’m convinced that procrastination leads to bad habits. It seems a lot of the things we put off are things that would benefit us in the long run, but might not be all that rewarding in the present. For example, while we’re putting off healthier eating, we’re usually creating bad eating habits. These habits become hard to break and our health suffers in the meantime.
Another bad habit that stems from procrastination has to do with our sleep. Putting things off for too long sometimes leads to pulling an all-nighter to get everything done in time. This leaves you feeling drained the next day, and you’re not able to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a task. I’ve had to pull my fair share of all-nighters to finish papers and it’s not nearly as gratifying as it could be if I were more present and alert.
Procrastination can also create a nasty habit of justification. It’s very easy to convince yourself that you’ll someday get around to doing all the things you want to do. There is a book I’ve been meaning to read since college, but instead of going to the library and doing so, I’ve chosen to read books that weren’t even previously on my list. I keep telling myself that I’ll read this book eventually, but seeing how it’s been several years already, things aren’t looking too great.
Too Much to Do
When you’re prone to procrastination, you tend to waste a lot of time doing things you don’t really need to do. Yet, these are tasks you’ve somehow convinced yourself are necessary and vital to your success. You spend tons of time focusing on these non-critical tasks, then rush through the critical tasks. Depending on how well you handle pressure and stress, you may thrive or you may be overwhelmed.
Many times, procrastination results in the starting of multiple projects at the same time. Many of these projects won’t be finished for months, if not years, simply because they didn’t need to be started in the first place. Some people view these unfinished projects as not following through, but sometimes it’s simply a case of avoidance resulting in tasks that don’t need to be finished.
Procrastination Can Be Tough
Not everyone struggles with procrastination, and not every procrastinator suffers negative consequences because of it. It can be a useful tool for those who know how to harness it. If you’re able to distract yourself with positive things and do well under pressure, more power to you. However, if you’re inclined to pursue negative distractions and break down under pressure, perhaps it’s time to kick it to the curb.