From Habit to Behavior


What to do when it seems like time is running out? Is that essay you were putting off finally due tomorrow? Is that application that is finally due, now hours away from the deadline? It is easy to forget things or put things off due to procrastination. Procrastination is something we all deal with no matter the age. It is that “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I still have time” vibe. When in reality it’s not case.

Although some say   procrastination is a good trait, it is not. Procrastination has so many negative effects in the lives of those that practice it. One big negative effect that procrastination entails is stress. Stress can cause a weaker immune system. It can also affect the way that we process our thought and our decision-making skills. All of this due to not being able to accomplish a task in a timely fashion. Imagine having ample time to accomplish a task, but then because you have been ignoring it, you realize that now you don’t have time to work out that masterpiece you originally had in mind.

That masterpiece is now in jeopardy. There are ideas that can take time to think of. Especially when it comes to a research paper. They are very time consuming no matter how good you are at writing paper. The amount of time it takes to do the research, to then attempt to piece all these pieces together, can lead to disaster if not done properly. You are then submitting half-done work that could have been the best of the best. Now you have to settle for that grade that you probably didn’t want.

This isn’t only for papers, but projects whether you are in school or not. There are projects as adults that can be put off, and then suffer greatly and as a consequence, termination. Due to you not having all the sources that you needed you could also run out of time. So instead of presenting your professor or boss a full task, now you have to settle with less. What seemed a simple job is now complicated.

Stress from procrastination could lead to the development of anxiety. The simple idea of running out of time can cause some to become anxious, and just submit something instead of nothing. That settlement for something rather than nothing is too much for some people. Procrastination just adds problems upon problems.

As mentioned before, your immune system could be affected. This is due to the amount of stress that students endure.  Then add more stress of procrastination. That is the perfect recipe for disaster. If you procrastinate continuously then it cuts precious time that you could have used to go to the gym, that run you were anticipating, or even that doctor’s appointment. All of your time and energy goes into that project or paper that was put off. There are times when all-nighters are pulled and the drain that occurs is very real.  Then this procrastination that is done occasionally can become a vicious cycle. This is the bigger picture that at times we as students fail to see.

This bad habit can affect our relationship with our loved ones, including friends and family. Always putting off tasks can lead to putting off dates and important events with family and friends. This type of habit affects the way that our workplace can view us. We can be branded as the least reliable person in the office or class. In the workforce this behavior can affect the chances of a promotion as well. It would be ideal to correct this type of habit now before it becomes a behavior.

Instead of procrastinating we can plan ahead. We can take a big project and split it into smaller portions, allowing for a better chance of accomplishing the task to our full potential. This is a more manageable to approach. Another approach that we can take to avoid the headaches of procrastination is to set imaginary deadlines for ourselves. This way we can accomplish smaller steps in a better time frame. If we set a better time frame then we can avoid the distractions and plan for more breaks. Stress causes some of us to stress-eat and poor nutrition. Better decisions can be made for the sake of the task. You will feel more confident in the work that you will hand in at the end of it all. Although these negative effects can sound bizarre, it is the truth of it all. So plan ahead to avoid these negative effects from occurring.