Side Effects of Procrastination: How Delaying Tasks Affects Mental & Physical Wellbeing

Side Effects of Procrastination: How Delaying Tasks Affects Mental & Physical Wellbeing

In a fast-paced world where time is precious, procrastination often becomes a tempting escape from responsibilities and deadlines. However, procrastination has negative side effects, suggesting a detrimental impact on one’s mental and physical well-being. Procrastination is the act of delaying tasks or decisions, which is a habit many individuals struggle to deal with. From students putting off assignments to adults postponing work or personal commitments, it is a common behavior that may come at a cost. 

Procrastination can lead to mental health problems, such as an increase in stress and anxiety. When tasks are constantly delayed, the build-up of pressure and guilt can take a toll on an individual’s mental health. Procrastinators often experience higher levels of frustration, self-doubt, and a sense of helplessness. It not only affects a person’s productivity levels but also has a declining effect on one’s emotional well-being. 

SNU biology-chemistry major, Hannah Duncan, expressed her experience with procrastination in college. “I try to avoid procrastinating my homework assignments because I become so stressed out, and it’s not worth it. I always try to plan my weeks out and set time for when I do homework, which I feel like helps me a lot.”

Potential physical health consequences of procrastination can also become evident among the mental side effects. The increased stress associated with procrastination can lead to sleep disturbances, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. If procrastination is prolonged, this could result in a sedentary lifestyle contributing to issues like weight gain. 

Masters student, Georgia Adams, explained the physical impact procrastination had on her. “In my first few years of college, I was a really bad procrastinator. I found myself constantly feeling stressed and anxious about school, which led me to not being able to get proper sleep as I was so worried.” She continued, “I was able to overcome this struggle with procrastination by staying on top of everything early and writing what I had to do and when down on a planner,” explained Adams. “It was definitely not easy but I am so thankful I overcame this bad habit.”

Not only can procrastination affect an individual’s mental and physical health but also their relationships. When one person consistently delays their responsibilities or commitments, it can lead to frustration and disappointment in their partners, friends, or colleagues. This can create conflict and trust issues. 

Overcoming procrastination is a challenge, yet essential for maintaining both mental and physical health. Some strategies for beginning to overcome this include setting clear goals, breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and finding people who will hold you accountable. Seeking professional help, such as therapy, can also be a great resource, especially for those struggling to break the habit. 

Procrastination only provides temporary relief from immediate tasks and isn’t worth the significant consequences that come with it. It is important to recognize and address procrastination to protect one’s mental and physical health, improve productivity, and maintain healthy relationships. It serves as a reminder that time management and completing tasks are vital for one’s overall well-being in an increasingly busy world.


Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash