It’s a problem that many of us are familiar with: you wake up and have to get going on a task that’s been on your mind all week. It will be challenging, but it needs to get done. Instead of starting immediately, you find yourself doing extra laundry or cleaning up around the house.
There are many reasons for workplace procrastination but the truth of the matter is any task becomes harder the longer we put it off. The more we wait, the bigger the task seems mentally and we have less time to work on it. The cost of procrastination may not be apparent at the beginning but it does cost us personally and professionally.
If you’ve been battling the nasty habit of workplace procrastination, it helps to know what it’s costing you. What are the consequences of procrastination and how is it affecting you?
In this article, we’ll look at why it’s important to fight procrastination in the workplace so you can avoid falling victim to this destructive habit.
Here are 5 ways workplace procrastination erodes work-life balance:
1. Increases Stress
One of the most significant impacts of procrastination on work-life balance is it causes stress. It’s one of the negative effects of procrastination because when you put off work until the last minute, you’re creating a situation where you must work quickly to finish everything on time. This puts enormous pressure on you and can lead to stress.
Procrastination also increases stress because it causes anxiety about getting things done. If you’re constantly putting off things until the last minute, you’re always wondering whether or not you’ll be able to finish before the deadline. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and insecurity that add more stress to your life.
2. Decreases Quality of Work
Producing low-quality work is one of the dangers of procrastination.
When you’re constantly putting something off, you have less time to do it. All too often, this causes us to rush through a task. Details get overlooked and the quality is compromised.
While we don’t have to cross all the “T”s and dot all the “I”s, it makes a difference when we make a real, focused, and prolonged effort in putting our best foot forward. We can better anticipate and address issues that may arise from our work, we can consult other professionals for their opinions, and we can go over our work to avoid careless and obvious mistakes.
This can’t happen if we leave things to last-minute efforts.
3. Reduces Productivity
What are the effects of procrastination? Reduced productivity is one of the major consequences of procrastination. Most employers will give their employees enough time to accomplish certain tasks. However, if we procrastinate, we’re wasting valuable time that could have been spent on an assigned task. Plus, it’s unfair to the people who are paying us to do our jobs.
Time spent procrastinating is often time wasted since it’s spent doing things that don’t have a big enough impact on our lives to be considered productive. Whether it’s surfing the internet, checking our social media feeds, or something else, we need to manage our time wisely so that we have something to show for it at the end of the day.
4. Causes Burnout
How can not doing work lead to procrastination negative effects? Burnout is a natural reaction to constant stress. Since chronic stress is one of the downsides of procrastination, those who engage in constant procrastination may find themselves feeling the same burnout that overworked and underpaid employees feel!
Think of the last time you procrastinated on a major undertaking. Perhaps the task forced you outside your comfort zone or maybe it was too complicated and involved too many details. Regardless of why you were procrastinating, imagine the stress you felt. When the deadline was miles away, you might not have felt much anxiety but as the deadline inched closer, you felt the weight of its responsibilities becoming heavier.
In addition to the task itself, putting it off is an added stressor that you don’t need. By tackling an assignment head-on and doing a little bit each day, you can make the chore easier and reduce its psychological weight.
A study of 323 university students revealed that incidences of student burnout increased with academic procrastination. The higher the student burnout score, the greater the likelihood of cynicism and emotional exhaustion. Unsurprisingly, their academic efficacy also went down.
5. Leads to an Unbalanced Life
Procrastination leads to an unbalanced life because you have to cram something that should have taken you days to accomplish into a few hours or even a few minutes.
Procrastination destroys work-life balance because it forces you to make sudden and unplanned changes to your schedule. When we do it enough times, it can also have destructive consequences for our relationships with others.
When we have responsibilities, other people are expecting us to come through for them. Certain things need to be done at a particular time. However, if we’re not able to do our tasks, we become undependable and cause disappointment.
Missing meetings at work that we promised we’d attend, not turning in a report that was due yesterday, failing to reply to an urgent email — all these things lead to stress and an unbalanced life.
Free Yourself From Procrastination
Procrastination can be a stressful and difficult habit to get rid of, especially if you’ve been doing it for years. But take heart because there’s something you can do about it. One of the key things you must do is identify the underlying reasons for your habit.
Virtue Map can help you learn more about your reasons for procrastinating. It can create a personal plan that’s designed to help understand what you’re doing, why you’re procrastinating, and how you can stop.
Battling procrastination with Virtue Map is simple and personalized. Based on your quiz results, we will give you daily tasks and self-awareness exercises so you can get rid of psychological hurdles that are destroying your work-life balance.
Don’t wait another hour before deciding to make an important change – take the quiz.