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Procrastination has very real consequences. It involves putting off necessary actions in favor of less worthwhile pursuits or avoiding action altogether. Procrastination can lead to losing your health, wealth, and peace of mind. When you don’t get important things done on time, you risk:
Poor Lifestyle Choices
Studies have found that students who procrastinate on doing their assignments slept less, ate worse, and drank more than students who completed their assignments on schedule. Choosing to party and have fun may lead to not finishing assignments on time. If a student must rush or pull an “all-nighter” to finish an assignment, they probably aren’t eating well and certainly aren’t getting enough sleep. Students can fall into a vicious cycle, leaving assignments until the last minute, and affecting their health in the process.
Throughout life, procrastination can lead to making these types of poor choices. Watching too much TV or viewing hours of social media leaves little time for healthy cooking and eating. An unorganized life becomes a health risk when you procrastinate the things you need to do and lose sleep to finish them at the last minute. Procrastination robs you of the time necessary to make healthy choices.
Recent statistics on procrastination suggest that 40% of people who procrastinate have experienced a financial loss because of their procrastination. Waiting too long to book a trip can result in missing discounts for signing up early. Not getting to the store before a sale ends will cost you more for the same item. Not paying your bills on time results in late fees. Small financial losses add up over time, costing you large sums of money during your life.
Procrastination can lead to significant financial losses too. If you don’t buy or sell stocks, a house, or a car when the markets are favorable, you can lose thousands of dollars. Image what you could be earning if you didn’t put off finishing college or taking the advanced courses available to you. If you own your own business, not getting back to clients and customers can cost you money-making contracts and sales.
Not seeing a doctor can lead to developing a serious illness. Procrastinating to avoid regular check-ups means your doctor won’t catch changes in your health. Left untreated, many diseases can grow into serious, even life-threatening, illnesses. Screenings for cancer, routine lab work, and physical examinations are designed to spot health issues before they become serious problems. Procrastination about your health is dangerous and can be deadly.
When people were asked if their procrastination had a negative effect on their happiness, 46% said it affected them quite a bit or very much. 18% of people surveyed said procrastination had an extremely negative effect on their happiness. It’s hard to find the time to reflect on the good things in life and be happy if you’re always thinking about things you haven’t made time to do.
Happiness comes from being content with your life. People who procrastinate aren’t happy because they always feel they have missed something or have more to do. Finishing your tasks allows you to be satisfied and have the time to be happy.
Research suggests that procrastinating creates stress. Your mind and body react to not finishing things and view undone actions as stressors. The more you procrastinate, the more stress you will have. Experiencing a high volume of stress and having stress over long periods can lead to depression and decreased mental health.
Take a single day as an example. If you procrastinate about getting out of bed and going to work on time, you may spend the day worrying that your boss will fire you. You probably didn’t have time to make a healthy lunch before work, so you might worry you’ll gain weight if you eat fast food again. If you procrastinated about filling your gas tank, your ride would be stressful until you reach a gas station and can fill up enough to get to work or back home. If you didn’t go grocery shopping, your poor dinner choices could lead to more worry about your weight and health. Multiply this one day over weeks and months or even years. The stress of procrastination builds up, and you may start to think your life isn’t going anywhere. You become depressed, which you could have avoided if you hadn’t procrastinated.
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