Have you ever labeled yourself as a procrastinator? Procrastination can show up in a lot of different ways and stems from plenty of reasons — but it’s never good. Whether you feel that you “work better under pressure” or just can’t muster the will to get things done, procrastination isn’t as harmless as it may seem.
“As long as it gets done,” is reasoning that only goes so far. For real estate investors, this can be the kiss of death as it leads to missed opportunities, deferred maintenance and lost tenants.
Procrastination is not simply taking a few minutes to goof off here and there. We all waste time at one point or another and call it procrastination because we’re supposed to be doing something out. But real trait procrastination is much more insidious. It’s a chronic, harmful delay that affects about 20% of the population.
Even if you aren’t subject to chronic procrastination (or so you think!), there are elements of this trait that can sneak in if you’re prone to time-wasting. Beware of how procrastination on your end as well as that of those around you (such as employees) can damage an otherwise successful business.
4 Terrible Side-Effects of Chronic Procrastination
It Causes Missed Opportunities
Obviously, procrastination prevents you from getting things done. Procrastination causes us to miss opportunities that we may never see again. Learn to seize opportunity despite the impulse to put things off, wait around, or simply trick yourself into believing it will be there when you’re ready. Chances are, it won’t.
It Can Ruin a Good Reputation
On the side of ruining business, procrastination can ruin both a professional and personal reputation. When you commit to tasks, deadlines and projects but don’t deliver due to procrastination, frustration mounts and people stop trusting in you to do what you say you’re going to do. Follow-through is such a vital point for a successful business that lacking it can really leave a bad mark that you may not be able to recover from.
It Damages Confidence
We’re always our own worst critics, and procrastinators are no different. Procrastination isn’t synonymous with laziness — it can stem from perfectionist traits, fear of failure and low self-esteem, among other things. When we disappoint ourselves by not meeting commitments, the procrastinator can grow discouraged and self-punishing for their inability to just do things they they say they’re going to do. This can lead to negative self-talk, avoiding opportunities and self-sabotage.
It Damages Your Health
Not only are procrastinators at risk because they avoid important health-related duties like exercise and regular doctor’s appointments, but they’re far, far more likely to suffer from heart disease and stress-related illnesses thanks to their harmful coping mechanisms. When health suffers, work and life suffer.
Do you consider yourself a procrastinator? Share your strategies for overcoming your time-wasting tendencies in the comments.