Can Procrastination in the Workplace Impact Your Mental Health?

Procrastination in the workplace is known for having several negative consequences. But can it also affect your mental health? The answer is yes. Workplace procrastination can impact your mental health in various ways. Understanding exactly how it affects your mental health can help you address problems with procrastination and their influence on your mental wellness.

Procrastination is defined as “delaying or postponing something until later.” It’s when you put off doing something even if it needs to be done now. It’s especially common among people who are perfectionists, anxious about failure, and those with low self-esteem.

In the workplace, procrastination can negatively affect your mental health in several ways: You may feel guilty for not doing what needs to be done, your boss may yell at you for not getting work done on time, and your coworkers may think less of you because they see you struggling with deliverables. All these things affect our self-worth and confidence in ourselves, leading to anxiety and depression.

Here are five specific ways that answer, “how does procrastination affect mental health?”


1. Procrastination Increases Stress

Procrastination and stress feed off each other. Stress can promote procrastination and procrastination can promote stress.

Some people only experience this in one way. For instance, procrastinating causes them stress but stress isn’t the reason why they’re procrastinating. However, a stress-procrastination loop can happen when people experience this both ways. Their procrastination makes them feel stressed which makes them procrastinate more. They then feel stressed again and so on and so forth.

Finally, the procrastinator may be forced to complete the task because of an impending deadline, ending the cycle. This cycle can also end due to different developments. However, even if this loop ends, it can reoccur under similar circumstances.


2. Procrastination Fuels Feelings of Guilt

How is procrastination linked to mental health? When you’re feeling guilty about something, it can impact your mental health. Your mental state can trigger unproductive thoughts such as “I’m such a failure” or “I’m so lazy.” Over time, these feelings can become overwhelming. When you feel this way over a long period, it can lead to depression and anxiety.

Procrastination can also make you feel guilty because it causes you to delay tasks that have personal, professional, and/or financial consequences. For example, you’re a freelancer putting off submitting invoices or a student who still needs to finish an assignment. In the first scenario, it can mean lost income. In the second, it can mean poor academic performance.

Additionally, putting off tasks can lead to feelings of shame. You might feel like a failure for not following through on projects or goals. This can negatively impact your self-esteem, making you feel worse about yourself.


3. Procrastination Can Lead to Perfection Paralysis

Procrastination and perfectionism are often linked. People who tend to procrastinate are more likely to be perfectionists and vice versa.

Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with being a perfectionist, it can have adverse effects on your mental health if you let it take over your life. Perfectionists tend to set unrealistically high standards for themselves and others which can lead to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem when they fall short of their expectations.

Perfectionism and Fear

Perfectionism can also be a barrier to success. When their fear of failure becomes stronger than their will to succeed, they may start putting off projects and will rush through them without giving them the attention and care they need.

Perfectionism and the Inability To Get Things Done on Time

Procrastination can also contribute to the cycle of stress and disappointment by making it difficult to finish things on time. Perfectionists may feel like they have to start everything from scratch if they don’t finish something perfectly the first time — and that’s certainly no way to live!


4. Procrastination Can Reduce Your Energy and Increase Fatigue

If you procrastinate at work, you’re probably already aware of how it affects your energy level — and not in a good way. When we put things off, we feel drained and exhausted because our brains are working overtime to distract us from what needs to be done. This can lead to frustration, guilt, and shame when we finally get around to doing the tasks that are hanging over our heads.

But there’s more than just physical fatigue at stake. If you’re putting off tasks at work because they’re too mentally taxing or difficult for you right now, it could cause even greater anxiety and depression over time due to an inability to complete them on time or at all!


5. Procrastination Affects Your Time Management Skills

Procrastination is linked to several issues that affect your time management skills. It can lead to a lack of self-discipline and an inability to focus. Some things may seem more fun or worthwhile to do than the responsibilities that have been assigned to you.

Procrastination can also cause you to get sidetracked when you should be working on urgent tasks. This happens because it’s easy for people to get drawn into distractions like social media or watching TV.

Procrastination hampers time management skills because it causes people to lose track of time, priorities, and responsibilities at work. They may only realize how much time has passed once it’s too late and the deadline has passed. 


Fight Procrastination Today

For the sake of your mental health and career, fight procrastination today. 

Start by listing all the things that you want to accomplish. Plan your day in advance and prioritize tasks according to their importance. Be sure to organize your time for each task and make sure that your goals are realistic. 

If you’re still having trouble with workplace procrastination, don’t be ashamed to ask for outside help. Virtue Map’s interactive daily tasks and self-awareness techniques are designed for people just like you. With our help, you can overcome procrastination, regain your mental health, and realize your full potential. Start by taking the quiz for recommendations and a plan of action.

Eliminate Procrastination

Answer a quick quiz and crush your set goals with tons of focus, energy, and willpower.

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