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Last Updated on June 26, 2019

8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

We are all guilty of procrastinating at some point or other; no one is a stranger to it, right? Some of us might be lucky enough to identify it in time and still do something about it.

Unfortunately for others, it steals dreams and can even destroy lives.

The reason we procrastinate varies from person to person and is not always obvious. Sometimes it is a hidden fear that we don’t want to acknowledge, or it could even be as simple as not wanting to do something because it just doesn’t motivate us.

Whatever the reason may be, if you know you are a procrastinator, be careful: it has far more damaging effects than you may realize.

Here are the 8 most common effects of procrastination that can destroy not only your productivity, but your life:

1. You will lose precious time.

How much time have you wasted procrastinating? It isn’t easy to tell, but I am sure you can imagine.

The worst thing about procrastinating is the moment you realize that you are two, five or ten years older and nothing has changed. Where did all the time go?

This is a terrible feeling because you can’t turn back the hands of time, you just have to live with the helpless feeling of regret. There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated at yourself, knowing the situation could have been so different… if only you had taken that first step!

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Don’t do that to yourself, you deserve what you desire.

2. You will blow opportunities.

How many opportunities have you wasted because you didn’t take advantage of them when they were there? This is when you really want to kick yourself.

What you don’t realize is that the opportunity could have been life changing but you missed out on it. Most opportunities only come around once; you are never guaranteed a second chance.

Opportunities are the world’s way of giving you more, do yourself a favor and grab them with both hands!

3. You won’t be able to meet goals.

Procrastination seems to come on with full force when we entertain the thought of goals, of wanting to achieve or change something. You might have a strong desire to change but you just can’t seem to take the first step forward.

This is normally really confusing and perplexing; you might find yourself thinking, “Why is it so hard to go for something that I want so badly?” Only you can answer that; you’ll have to explore a little deeper into the resistance.

We set goals because we have a deep desire to better our lives in some way. If you don’t do this because of procrastination, you destroy the possibility to better your life.

Uncover the root cause behind your procrastination if it’s preventing you from achieving your goals, otherwise you will never attain them.

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4. You could ruin your career.

The way you work directly affects your results, how much you achieve and how well you perform.

Perhaps procrastination prevents you from meeting deadlines or achieving your monthly targets. What consequence will this eventually have on your career?

You might miss out on promotions or worse; you might even be at risk of losing your job. You can try to hide it for a while, but don’t doubt that long-term procrastination at work will almost certainly ruin your career.

Don’t undermine your own performance unnecessarily.

5. You will lower your self-esteem.

This is one of the vicious circles you might find yourself in. We tend to procrastinate sometimes because of a low self-esteem, but procrastinating doesn’t only reinforce this, it makes it even lower.

You start to doubt and question what is wrong with you. You might desperately ask yourself, “Why can’t I just do it?”

Having low self-esteem destroys lives in many ways. When we have low self-esteem, we hold ourselves back, we feel less than we should and it leads to self-sabotaging acts.

Procrastination eats away your confidence, slowly but surely.

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If this resonates with you, focus on building your self-esteem instead of holding on to the illusion that you should be able to do something as this makes you force yourself when you are not ready.

6. You will make poor decisions.

When you procrastinate and make decisions from this standpoint, they are almost always going to be poor decisions because of the place you are coming from.

When you procrastinate, you make decisions based on criteria that most likely wouldn’t be there if you didn’t procrastinate, like pressure to finally make a decision because time is running out.

Emotions heavily influence the decisions we make and procrastination affects how we feel to a large degree.

Poor decision making has huge negative effects on our happiness, results and life.

7. You will damage your reputation.

When you keep saying you will do something and you don’t, your reputation inevitably gets tarnished. Nobody wants empty promises.

Besides damaging your own reputation, you are damaging your self-esteem and self-confidence. You will find that it gets easier to procrastinate each time because you are not surprising yourself anymore.

People could stop depending on you and hold back on offering you opportunities because they could be worried that you will simply procrastinate and they will be left to clean up the mess.

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A bad reputation has multiple underlying negative effects.

8. You will risk your health.

Procrastination is linked to mental health problems like stress and anxiety, and these in turn are linked to health issues. If your procrastination leads to feelings of depression, over time this depression will start to affect other areas of your life.

If you procrastinate too much with something, it will most likely start to stress you out and cause anxiety, especially when other people or things are involved. Studies show us more and more how damaging stress and anxiety are for us, with stress being the silent killer.

Another way that procrastination can affect your health is when you continually put off check ups, and postpone appointments or things you need to do, such as exercise. The problem only gets worse and the consequences more dire.

Remember that procrastination is like a habit, it is really hard to kick, but it can make or break you!

If you want to stop procrastination, take a look at these guides written by Lifehack’s productivity experts:

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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