Procrastination affects everyone. It sneaks up on most people when they're tired or bored, but for some, procrastination can be a full-fledged addiction. They avoid all day the work that is right in front of them, only to go home and toil late into the night, frantically trying to finish what they could have easily completed before dinner.
"Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him." –Charles Dickens
With the holidays approaching, the high season for procrastination is upon us. It's even more difficult to get work done when you're stuck at the office, wishing you were enjoying time with family and friends.
Still, the procrastination cycle can become crippling at any time of the year, which is troubling, because recent studies show that procrastination magnifies stress, reduces performance, and leads to poor health.
Psychologists at Case Western Reserve University conducted an interesting experiment where they offered college students a date range instead of a single due date for their papers. The researchers tracked the date that students turned in their papers and compared this to their stress levels and overall health. Students who waited until the last minute to turn in their papers had greater stress and more health issues than others did. They also received worse grades on their papers and in the class overall than students who turned their papers in earlier.
A study published earlier this year by Bishop's University explored the link between chronic procrastination and stress-related health issues. The researchers found a strong link between procrastination and hypertension and heart disease, as procrastinators experienced greater amounts of stress and were more likely to delay healthy activities, such as proper diet and exercise.