Procrastination: The Detrimental Effects

Written by:  Sayma Shanta

You know what I do a lot? I procrastinate! Say I get a project, it starts off as a two week project, believing that there is a lot of time, half of the time is spent on planning the work and then comes the time when there is a few days left and no work is done because of rescheduling and other work getting in the way. Finally approaches the deadline, with some hours to go I plan on an hour basis, that I will spend an hour on this and then this, but then it’s still not done and I decide to pull an all nighter with six more hours to edit and add. “Well, I will just watch one more episode before I do the work, it’s only half an hour. After all I have got six hours, I mean that is a lot of time.” Bam, there it is, I fall asleep. All of a sudden I wake with my laptop on me, curled up in bed, indiscriminately staring at the curtain to figure out if it’s morning yet, and realising the regret in myself, then I check the time, and I have an hour left to work before my mum comes to wake me up, and there I am raving and flipping out on how to finish this work. To be very honest with you, it’s so much trouble, even if I did submit the work in time, but you see, the process continues all the time I have a new project.

So who would you want to be known as, the procrastinator or the organised/the efficient? Procrastination is something everyone does at some point in their lives, I do it, you do it, everyone does it, okay? This is the state of mind in which people put-off and delay important work and believe to be in a reality where deadlines do not exist and try to pass time by doing unimportant and time-wasting things (Pickhart, 2017), like playing games, binge watching tv or scroll through social media. In simpler terms, procrastination is the ability to stay occupied without doing productive work. Some people say that procrastinating gets the best work out of them, but I can tell you procrastination will drive you insane on the long run because of its detrimental after effects. Now, I will be giving three solid reasons for you to combat that instant gratification monkey in you, learning to make those rational decisions when the monkey is steering. (Inside The Mind of A Master Procrastinator, 2016) So why is it that I urge you to stop procrastinating? Not only does procrastination drive one insane mentally, it takes a toll on their health and body as well as the quality of the work that is produced from it.

Tell me one thing, did your teacher ever tell you that you were missing something from your work? Or do you ever feel that you couldn’t reach your level of achievement on a piece of work just because of the time you had left to complete it? The key, my friend, lies in time, because within time lies opportunities, which are directly related to the work that is produced, since procrastination is the assassin of time and opportunities, if one procrastinates, they directly put themselves into the state where they are forced to comply with the situation and circumstances to do their work in the rush hour of the last minute, as if one is being held hostage. It robs you from the chance of putting your decided amount of time into work, it robs you of the opportunity to do better, it robs you of the achievement level YOU wanted. (Kitroeff, 2017) But with the time spent rewarding yourself with laziness and running away from the work, you could have made a difference to your grade by starting early as you would have more time to make those changes in word choice, add some more information, cite the work properly, add images, quotes, facts and examples. (Stop procrastinating! Start writing!, 2016) Say if you pull an all nighter doing your work, your brain may be spiritually disconnected, and you may struggle to put together sentences because it is the time in which you’re meant to be sleeping.

Cognitively (mentally), procrastinating makes everything easy seem difficult turning it into the most complicated task to complete, burdening you even further to put it off, and delay it, such due to the different emotions and mindsets that procrastinators go about getting work done. The first type of procrastination mindset is the one of false dramatism, which goes mostly by saying,“This is so hard…” Making yourself feel that the work you are about to do is hard, will remind the instant gratification monkey to make you do something else because all it wants is fun, events, and relaxation, because this monkey lives in the present moment without a memory of the past. The thing with telling yourself that it’s hard won’t possibly make it easy to do, all it needs is a little bit of willpower from the rational decision maker in your brain and after it is done, do all the easy things in the world no-one will bother you but, do the bit of easy work, before it turns into the lot of hard work that you didn’t do in the right time. (Overcoming Procrastination.net, 2017) Another type of a procrastinator’s mindset is the one of perfection, this mindset of perfection calls for the procrastinator to extend the time they get to work on something, so that they can make it perfect. A third mentality that procrastinators have are the dates of deadlines. These people think that, “Oh yeah, I’ll just do it after this week, any of these days now, after all it’s the holidays.” News flash, the holidays are over, and so should your laziness be. The deadline procrastinator measures time from present until the deadline, thinking that there is still time, that either you’ll be dead or the project will be, and this causes immense stress, further reaching the brink at which there is adrenaline rush for you to finish your work, leaving you pressurised and shaking.

Lastly the main point of this speech comes in when we talk of the severe health hazards associated with procrastination. As an article from psychologicalscience.org suggests, a study from Bishop’s university in Quebec outlines that “…the trait procrastination…was significantly associated with having hypertension or cardiovascular disease.” (Association for Psychological Science, 2017) Procrastination is said to evoke physical and health aftereffects, which is very dangerous and mustn’t be thought of as a minor issue, because it can take a great toll on someone and others around the individual in question, as one thing can lead to another, it doesn’t take time for sickness to become sadness.

One decision leads to another, I don’t know about you, but yeah, it’s quite tempting to go on and do exciting and fun things, than doing boring homework, but trust me, as an experienced person on the topic of procrastination, work doesn’t let you off the hook so easily, it comes back to bite the next morning or any other time, if not the present . So the next time you even plan about doing your work later, so that you could play games, chat with your friends, watch tv or even go and read a book in the present moment, you should recall that it really isn’t worth replacing your sleep. I very strongly conclude that you won’t be doing a favor for me, nor for the person sitting next to you, same goes for anything else, you will be righteous to your own self, health and be able improve your grades, because in the end the benefit is yours as you get more time to do your work.. As you are now aware that procrastination can immensely effect your, quality of work, your mental health and body health, you should be a lot more organised with your work and get your easy work done in the proper time. Finally, summarising my points, I urge you to stop procrastinating your work, and just go on and do it, because starting now is better than starting in the last moment. (Jones, 2017)

Bibliography

  1. Association for Psychological Science. (2017). Better Get to Work: Procrastination May Harm Heart Health. [online] Available at: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/better-get-to-work-procrastination-may-harm-heart-health.html#.WJvIXLZ95ap [Accessed 26 Jan. 2017].

  2. Jones, J. (2017). The Neuroscience & Psychology of Procrastination, and How to Overcome It. [online] Open Culture. Available at: http://www.openculture.com/2016/08/the-neuroscience-psychology-of-procrastination-and-how-to-overcome-it.html [Accessed 27 Jan. 2017].

  3. Kitroeff, M. (2017). Procrastination Is Bad for Your Grades. [online] Bloomberg.com. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-09-10/procrastination-is-bad-for-your-grades [Accessed 28 Jan. 2017].

  4. overcomingprocrastination.net (2017). Overcome Procrastination!. [online] Available at: http://www.overcomingprocrastination.net/effects.htm [Accessed 26 Jan. 2017].

  5. Pickhart, C. (2017). Procrastination: How Adolescents Encourage Stress. [Blog] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/200906/procrastination-how-adolescents-encourage-stress [Accessed 27 Jan. 2017].

  6. Stop procrastinating! Start writing!. (2016). Interpretation, 4(1), pp.1F-4F.

  7. Inside The Mind of A Master Procrastinator. (2016). https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator: TED Talk: Tim Urban.

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