We all suffer from that bad habit called procrastination. Whether it's putting off paying a bill until the last possible moment or waiting to order more pens until they're all missing. There's something exciting about the anxiety-inducing, last-minute deadline. However, a new study has found that that rush of adrenaline isn't good for your health.
The risks of procrastination
We have all had the thought that we're only hurting ourselves by procrastinating. However, we didn't know how right we were. Fuschia Sirois, a psychology professor at Bishop's University, found that there are heightened risks of heart disease and hypertension, according to Fast Company.
"The results of the moderation analyses suggest that procrastination promotes a tendency to cope with stress by engaging in negative, self-blaming thinking and disengaging from taking constructive action, tendencies that are more pronounced in the context of hypertension and cardiovascular disease," Sirois explained to the source.
These new dangers come on top of the already existing ones of headaches, digestive problems, colds and the flu. Stress can lead to a weakened immune system, which can make you sick. "Trait procrastination," which is more serious than casual delays, is believed to affect 20 percent of the population, Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, told the Association for Psychological Science. This comes as a result of failing to self-regulate, or not completing a task, even though you know you should.
"It really has nothing to do with time-management," he explained to the source. "As I tell people, to tell the chronic procrastinator to 'just do it' would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, 'cheer up.'"
Lacking the motivation to accomplish tasks doesn't mean you never have to do them, especially when your company and business banking depend on you finishing them. To help beat procrastination, check out some of the tips from Business Insider below:
- Prioritize – You may have a lot of things to do, but that doesn't mean they all have to be done in one day. Pick the top one or two that need to get down by the end of the day and get to work on those. You can also use the "under 10-minute rule," which says if you can get certain things done in less than 10 minutes, you should get them out of the way first.
- Get rid of distractions – The Internet, coworkers and other responsibilities can make you feel overwhelmed and sidetrack you from your work. Minimize those distractions by avoiding the Web if you can, working in a silent environment and staying on track with your to-do list.
- Sleep – If you're not getting enough sleep, you won't be performing at your best the next day. When you're tired, you're more likely to get distracted. It also won't help your health.
- Take breaks – While you may have to get tasks accomplished that day, it doesn't mean you should sit at your computer all day. Step away from your desk, go for a walk, grab lunch. You'll be more productive working in smaller doses than doing it all at once.
Procrastination can be hard to beat, but it doesn't have to be impossible. By establishing goals for yourself, you'll not only be helping your business – you'll also be keeping yourself in better health.