Disclaimer: This assignment was prepared for the Public Relations Program at Conestoga College. It is not intended to represent the views of the College, PR Program or faculty.
Putting It Off Until Tomorrow Could Do You In Today
Procrastination can be detrimental to your health and happiness, not just your credibility.
It’s a tale told once too many times, “I stayed up all night to finish my paper!”. The reality? You were assigned the paper 4 weeks ago. You were also given time to write in class but you left to play Ping-Pong with your friends. Once the teacher has it in hand, you feel relief and exhaustion. There’s homework you should start but a nap is in order after your all-nighter. You’ll get to the homework later.
Does this sound like you?
You wouldn’t be the only one to fall victim to procrastination. About 1 out of every 5 individuals confesses to being chronic when it comes to putting things off. Dr. Jennifer Maryasis, from the University of Western Ontario, conducted a study to answer the question whether procrastination is a habit or a disorder and how does it affect one’s happiness. Almost half of those surveyed admitted that their procrastination had a very negative effect on their joy. Sadly, 18% more claimed that it had an ‘extremely negative’ effect.
How does this all translate into everyday life?
Procrastinators are known to look for distractions; they take on tasks that require very little commitment. Their distraction is a way of regulating their emotions. But, dodging duties comes with a cost. Procrastination can become the root of resentment if others have to carry the burden of our responsibilities. Not only does ‘putting off what can be done today’ hurt one’s credibility with others, it can also play a detrimental part in leeching our health. In one semester, procrastinating students experienced lower immune systems. They were more susceptible to illness and gastrointestinal problems than their counterparts that took care of business in a timely fashion. Also, characteristics of procrastinators include low self-esteem, perfectionism, depression and anxiety.
There will always be those that wait for tomorrow to come before starting today’s work. It’s human nature but human nature can be adjusted according to the need. While it can never be completely eliminated, perhaps in understanding the effects of avoidance on our bodies, not to mention our reputations, we’ll be more prone to crack the books and put off Ping-Pong play dates… until our work is done.