How Procrastination Influences Your Work Ethic

There are a number of reasons why people procrastinate. Perhaps fatigue, stress, and fear are the most popular. However, the more you allow yourself to put things on the “back burner”, the more you will have on the “back burner.” Make sense? Moreover, the more you procrastinate, the weaker your will becomes. Eventually procrastination becomes a habit and you’re doing it all the time. Before things get out of hand, let’s examine the relationship between procrastination and your work ethic.

Consider the following ways in which procrastination influences your work ethic:

1.  Makes you lazy.

When you procrastinate, you teach yourself that you don’t have to do something now—or possibly ever. It’s a bad habit that influences the way that you think about work, deadlines, and priorities. You may have the time and resources to get a thing done now, but you don’t. Why? Maybe you don’t feel like it. Maybe you’re afraid that it won’t turn out well. Maybe you’re already stressed and the thought of doing one more thing is more than you can handle. Whatever the reason, whenever you get into the habit of procrastinating, it makes you lazy. There are no two ways about it.

2.  Encourages you to develop an unrealistic attitude about time.

If you are constantly putting things off, you’re telling yourself consciously or unconsciously, that you’ve got enough time to do them all—later. But, do you? Do you really have time bundled up and locked away to complete all these tasks you keep throwing on the “back burner?” Probably not. More than likely you’ll simply put projects together at the last minute. You’ll cause yourself more stress and increase the likelihood of churning out substandard work. That’s a high price to pay. Because procrastination also causes you to over-inflate required efforts, tasks that you could actually accomplish now (or sooner than later) are given larger-than-life parameters; thereby increasing the time you think it would take to complete them and causing you to push their deadlines back even further.

3.  Makes your priority muscle weak.

Procrastination makes it difficult to determine what things should move up the food chain and what things can legitimately be placed on the “back burner.” Do you know how painful it is to sift through a mounting pile of varying priorities, not knowing which should be attacked first? If you’ve been procrastinating long enough, you won’t. Confusion and burnout eventually set in, causing you to view everything and nothing as “priorities.”

What’s the take-away? Simply, very simply: Stop procrastinating.

Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. CS, is the Founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport. Follow her on Twitter @WSRapport or on Facebook.

Photo Credit: stockimages: via

Karima Mariama-Arthur

Karima Mariama-Arthur is founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport (, a boutique consulting firm located in Washington, D.C. which specializes in professional development. She consults individuals and organizations on the dynamics of complex communication and high-performance leadership competence.

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