“You may delay, but time will not”, said Benjamin Franklin, a famous founding father. Personally confirming this myself as writing this paper the day before it is due– procrastination exists within many of us, and it’s a very real issue. As you procrastinate, you do not only delay your tasks , but as well lengthen your worries. Procrastination is a serious problem, and it is defined as the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. Furthermore, procrastination could be stated as a habitual and intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite its negative consequences.
Coming from the perspective of a college student under the pressures of finals, as deadlines approach, students say they find themselves using their time for anything but homework. In fact, According to the American Psychological Association, between 80 and 95 percent of college students procrastinate on their schoolwork(Karr). Across the United States, students and the working class alike need to recognize that procrastination is a harmful issue and can pose irreversible damage, such as mental disorders, destruction of well-being, and eventually death– moreover, to those five to twenty percent who have managed to escape this chaos, I salute you.
A person’s mental health is directly impacted by procrastination, a serious issue within our society. Generally speaking, getting “on the grind” may be simple to some folks where all you have to do is put “one foot in front of the other” to get tasks at hand done, however it never is that easy. There is a real link between procrastination thinking styles and mild to serious depression in many people. More so a chicken and egg scenario(O’Keefe). Although it may bring some temporary relief, we eventually wake up the following day and find that our work is still waiting to be completed. The body has become overloaded with stress through an event, causing the adrenal glands to overload then slow down(O’Keefe). All you seem to feel? Hopelessness, helplessness and a lack of energy that result in difficulty starting or finishing a task. This often leads to episodes of depression, where even getting out of bed can seem like the world’s hardest task– you want to be productive, but you can’t. Not to make yourself feel better, not for a million dollars. When experiencing this, using energy to give yourself a motivational speech seems like a complete waste. For some people the act of procrastination causes depression as a personality trait, and for others biological depression causes procrastination as a feature of their illness. Depression is not the only mental illness associated with procrastinating, as it is also associated with many disorders like anxiety, ADHD, and OCD.
With attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, certain traits such as impulsivity and being easily distracted and poorly organized that all contribute to procrastination seem to cluster together, Steel says. Separately, obsessive-compulsive disorder can also cause a person to procrastinate. If you’re washing your hands again and again or tied up with other compulsions, that’s going to keep you from something else you know you need to do, Steel says. He says that a closer examination reveals many who are anxious don’t procrastinate, though some do, and that another factor is usually at play: impulsiveness. “So when you’re an impulsive person, and you’re anxious, you tend to [use] emotional coping techniques,” he says. “Instead of dealing with the problem you try and drown out your awareness of a problem.” You might instead turn on the TV, go party or do other things or rationalize in ways that make you feel better about not doing what you’re putting off, he says.Though procrastination is not listed among mental health disorders included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM-5, experts who study it say it can be a consuming problem. And solving the problem isn’t so simple as it might seem: “When people tell procrastinators, ‘You should just do it now,’ it’s pretty much the same as when they tell people who are depressed, ‘Be happy,’” Steel says. “It’s ineffective, and actually kind of more than annoying. It’s almost disrespectful of the seriousness of the underlying condition(Schroeder).”
Procrastination is a problem throughout the United States bringing about damaging impacts, such as ruining a person’s well-being and overall happiness. What’s more, ignoring the problem of chronic procrastination itself – and what’s causing it – can have a significant impact, from affecting job or school performance to straining relationships (like when expectations aren’t met) to diminishing quality of life for the individual. Procrastination becomes a serious problem when it affects all aspects of a person’s life, says Robert Schachter, a psychologist and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. When facing this issue on a daily basis, it will begin to take its toll on your life and eventually tear you down. You will find yourself wasting precious time, blowing opportunities, and ruining your career. The worst thing about procrastinating is the moment you realize that you are two, five or ten years older and nothing has changed. Where did all the time go? This is a terrible feeling because you can’t turn back the hands of time, you just have to live with the helpless feeling of regret. There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated at yourself, knowing the situation could have been so different… if only you had taken that first step! Don’t do that to yourself, you deserve what you desire. Additionally, What some don’t realize is that the opportunity could have been life changing but they missed out on it. Most opportunities only come around once; no one is ever guaranteed a second chance. To elaborate, the way you work directly affects your results, how much you achieve and how well you perform. Perhaps procrastination prevents you from meeting deadlines or achieving your monthly targets. You might miss out on promotions or worse; you might even be at risk of losing your job. You can try to hide it for a while, but don’t doubt that long-term procrastination at work will almost certainly ruin your career(O’Donovan). It will catch up to you.
Another major effect of procrastination is death, after ignoring and putting off important and crucial events. For example, procrastination is linked to cardiovascular disease, of which can certainly be fatal. Sirois,psychological scientist Fuschia Sirois of Bishop’s University in Quebec, hypothesized that procrastinators are likely to put off important health behaviors like going to the doctor and getting regular exercise. She also suspected that chronic procrastinators might cope poorly with the constant stress caused by delay. For the study, Sirois recruited a community sample of 182 individuals self-reporting a formal medical diagnosis of either hypertension or cardiovascular disease and a group of 564 healthy controls. All of the participants completed a series of online surveys measuring trait procrastination, coping style, stress, and health outcomes.
The survey results showed that the group that had been diagnosed with either hypertension or cardiovascular disease scored significantly higher on measures for trait procrastination compared to the healthy controls. In addition, the HT/CVD group showed a stronger association between procrastination and the two maladaptive coping strategies (behavioral disengagement and self-blame) compared to the healthy control group. As well, procrastination can be a factor in identifying a disease like cancer, though not an obvious direct cause. “You can die from it of course,” Steel says. “It can be something like finding a lump in your breast and then not treating it.” Unnecessarily delaying medical tests or treatment – a common concern – can certainly put a person in harm’s way(APS). Although procrastination can cause life-debilitating changes, a person may reduce these impacts through proper education. The first step of course, is to recognize you’re procrastinating. You might be waiting until a “good time” or to be in a “right mood” to start your tasks, filling your time with unimportant tasks, or even leaving an item on a “To-Do” list for a long amount of time. Second, work out why you’re procrastinating.
Poor organization can lead to procrastination, feelings of being overwhelmed, or fearing failure. You can people successfully overcome procrastination by creating schedules and allowing for a certain amount of time for each task that needs completion. Also, try to seek work that you know you’re capable of completing, and try your best. All you can do is that, aim to perform to the best of your abilities. The next step is to adopt anti-procrastination strategies. If this means fully committing to the task and promising yourself a reward upon completion and it works for you, do so(Mindtools). Other tips to ty is to break bigger and more challenging assignments into smaller parts, and take one step at a time. You can also minimize distractions, and if this means turning off your phone, the television, or your laptop and sitting in a quiet place like a local library, it is much encouraged. Through proper education and major routine change, procrastination can be reduced. Procrastination is an extremely dangerous issue across the nation among people of all ages and causes mental disorders, destruction of your well being, and death.
- “Better Get to Work: Procrastination May Harm Heart Health.” Association for Psychological Science, www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/better-get-to-work-procrastination-may-harm-heart-health.html.
- “How Can I Stop Procrastinating?Overcoming the Habit of Delaying Important Tasks.” Procrastination – How Can I Stop Procrastinating? with MindTools.com, www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm.
- “Is Procrastination a Symptom of Depression?” LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/pulse/procrastination-symptom-depression-dr-tracie-o-keefe-dch-bhsc-nd.
- “Is Your Chronic Procrastination Actually a Matter of Mental Health?” Google, Google, www.google.com/amp/s/health.usnews.com/wellness/mind/articles/2017-08-03/is-your-chronic-procrastination-actually-a-matter-of-mental-health?context=amp.
- Karr, Larisa, et al. “Study Finds up to 95 Percent of College Students Procrastinate.” The Blue Banner, 26 Feb. 2014, thebluebanner.net/study-finds-up-to-95-percent-of-college-students-procrastinate/.
- O´Donovan, Kirstin. “8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life.” Lifehack, Lifehack, 25 July 2018, www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/8-ways-procrastination-can-destroy-your-life.html.
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