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The Cost of Procrastination

Whether it's putting off doing the laundry, postponing studying for an exam, or delaying a big project, procrastination is a habit that highly impacts your productivity, stress levels, and overall well-being. The costs of procrastination are high. Here are some ways that your procrastination is affecting you.

Decreased Productivity

Procrastination significantly decreases your productivity, making it harder to accomplish your goals and complete tasks on time. In addition, when you put off doing a task, you may end up rushing to complete it at the last minute, leading to errors or subpar results. In fact, procrastination leads to a massive backlog of work that piles up over time, making it even harder to catch up and, ironically, may cause you to put things off even more.

Increased Stress

Procrastination increases your stress levels exponentially. When you put off doing something, you may feel guilty or anxious about it, leading to a cycle of negative emotions. As the deadline approaches, you’ll likely experience even higher levels of stress, leading to health problems such as headaches, stomach aches, and insomnia.

Missed Opportunities

Procrastination causes you to miss out on significant opportunities. For example, when you delay taking action, you may miss a chance to land a new job, earn a promotion, or take advantage of a unique opportunity. Procrastination also causes you to miss important deadlines, such as college applications or tax filings, which has significant consequences.

Decreased Motivation

Procrastination decreases your motivation to complete tasks. When you delay doing something, it’s even harder to start, and due to the stress, you’ll more easily get distracted by other activities. This cycle leads to a lack of motivation and a feeling of being stuck, making it harder to accomplish your goals.

Negative Self-Image

Procrastination also negatively impacts your self-image. For example, when you put off doing something, you’ll feel like you're not living up to your potential or that you're lazy. This self-judgment then leads to a negative self-image and feelings of self-doubt, which impacts your confidence and overall well-being.

Procrastination has significant costs and negative impacts on your life in all areas. But, by educating yourself and building an understanding of the impact of procrastination, it’ll be easier for you to take steps to break the cycle and develop healthy habits that lead to success. Whether it's setting smaller goals, breaking tasks into manageable steps, or seeking support from friends and family, many strategies help you overcome procrastination and achieve your goals.

How to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

How to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

Procrastination is defined as the action of delaying or postponing something. Sometimes that means being late, sometimes it means being on time but not doing a very good job. Usually, when someone is procrastinating, they’ll find every excuse not to do what needs to be done, often busying themselves with other activities to avoid guilt.

  • Get Organized – Sometimes, people put things off simply because they’re overwhelmed, and everything just seems like too much. When you get organized you can eliminate busywork and focus more on what really needs to be done.
  • Develop Clear Goals – Everything you do should relate to your goals. When you write goals, make sure you can measure them by being very specific about what success looks like.
  • Create Step-By-Step Actions – Once you’ve created a goal, break it down into components with step by step actions that lead you to the result that you desire. The small steps that help you get there should not be overwhelming.
  • Create a Schedule with Deadlines – From the steps, put them in your calendar with time limits and deadlines. Make sure that you do give yourself enough time, but don’t give yourself too much time.
  • Eliminate Distractions – No one can multitask. You’d be shocked to learn how many hours you waste in a day trying to do more than one thing at a time. Studies show that multitasking wastes about 40 percent more time than focusing.
  • Systemize and Automate – Some tasks that you do regularly can be automated. All tasks should be systemized so that you do them the same way each time. It’ll make you faster and help you avoid trying to get out of it.
  • Form Habits – Just like people have bad habits, people can have good habits. Turn the things you need to do into habits by doing them at the same time, in the same way, so that you look forward to it.
  • Celebrate Success – When you meet a goal or even part of a goal, take the time to celebrate it. Reward yourself or others who were involved in fulfilling the goal.
  • Let Go of Perfection – While you do want to do things to the best of your ability, no one is ever going to be perfect. Often the perfection you’re shooting for just doesn’t exist. Let it go and get done.
  • Follow Your Schedule – Once you set up a schedule, follow it for a long time before changing it. You can check your metrics to find out if it’s working and adjust but try not to deviate from your schedule too much.

The best way to eliminate procrastination is to stop doing things you dislike doing and let someone else do them or bite the bullet and just do the thing according to schedule without thought or judgment.  

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