Do you procrastinate? Chances are you probably do. Considering 95 percent of people admit to procrastinating, with many of these people admitting to it being a continuous thing, you are probably smack dab in that large percentage of the population.
You may think that procrastination is helping you enjoy your life more. For instance, instead of getting done the housework you are enjoying your time with your family. Or instead of getting that article written for work, you are taking the time to learn something new. But the effects of procrastination are not always immediate.
How Procrastination Can Affect Your Happiness
There are many different ways procrastination can affect your happiness. We all know that feeling of ‘thank god it is over’, and we have all asked ourselves what took us so long to do it in the first place – yet, we end up procrastinating again not long down the line.
Maybe if we saw procrastination in a new light we would think about it differently. So, with that said, here are 3 different ways that procrastination can affect you and your happiness in life.
It Can Cause You to Miss Out on Life
Your life is right now – it’s not tomorrow or yesterday. You are living right now and you should make the most of this moment in time, but when you procrastinate you do the very opposite.
For instance, if that article for work that you are putting off turns out to be a popular and viral piece of information, you could potentially do a lot of good from it! Your reputation could increase, your authority on the subject could increase, and most importantly your bank account could increase. But the longer you wait to write the article, the more of all those good things (that you could be receiving right now) you lose.
Think of this way – If that article could make you a million dollars, but you wait a year to write that article, then you missed out on a year’s worth of crazy living and lot’s of happiness! You could have helped out friends and family, gone on a vacation, or just bought that hot tub that you would use every night with joy.
I’m not saying that life doesn’t go on when you procrastinate, because it does. But it’s not life at its full potential. And your full potential life is going to be way better than your routine life. So seize the moment and take action!
Procrastination Can Cause Stress
My favorite example of this, because it caused a lot of stress for me, was doing oral presentations in college. I hated oral presentations since I was a kid, and I’ve done some pretty crazy stuff to get out of them in junior high and high school, but college didn’t let me get out of anything.
I would put off a presentation until I couldn’t put it off anymore. Even in my American Sign Language course, which required me to be front of the class every day signing, would have me sweating if I had to do a presentation. I could be a silly nut in front of the class when not doing a presentation, but presenting something was a different story.
The crazy thing was, the longer I procrastinated, the more I suffered! And this is true for anyone who procrastinates. We usually procrastinate on the stuff we don’t want to do, and the longer we think about having to do it, the more we don’t want to do it! It causes us stress and worry and it soaks up a lot of our time thinking about doing (or not wanting to do) it.
But when we get it over with we instantly feel better. We feel happy that we are done and can get on with our lives.
This is something we have to remember. The sooner you get something done, the quicker the stress of doing it will go away and the less worry and anxiety you will have.
Plus stress, worry, and anxiety can have ill effects on your health – so if you can avoid them by just doing it, then do it!
Procrastination Can Cause Low Self-Confidence
Like I said, we only really procrastinate on the stuff we don’t want to do. We would never put off eating at our favorite restaurant or watching our favorite TV show. Nope. We only put off stuff that is not fun or exciting for us.
Another reason to procrastinate is to avoid a negative outcome. For instance, we may not ask someone out on a date because we are scared that they are going to reject us. So even though we want to ask them out, we put it off until all the circumstances are right – you know, like the lighting being just right and the moon hanging in a certain position.
The problem with this is that the longer we put off asking someone out, the more we start to worry about being rejected. We start to get mad at ourselves for not taking a chance and just doing it, and we call ourselves names like wimp and scaredy cat (I’m being nice here), and all of this takes a toll on our self confidence and self worth. We are engaging in negative self-talk and that’s not good for our happiness.
So the next time you are about to procrastinate, and you think you will be happier for doing so, remember this article. You could be putting off great happiness with every second that you procrastinate! You could be causing stress on your body that would disappear the moment you just get it done! And you could be causing yourself to become less confident every day that you wait to do something you really want to do.