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The Pros & Cons of Procrastination

January 28th, 2020

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The best way to get something done is to begin.

-Anonymous

How Motivated Are You?

Everyone has had something that they had to accomplish, whether it be something small or something big, the need to get work done has been there for all people at some point or another. However, the impetus to get these things done is often different and can vary from person to person. This motivation to work can also vary depending on the task that needs to be done.

For example, a task that one is looking forward to accomplishing will likely come with more fervor, energy, and motivation than a task that someone is dreading to do. People vary in their levels of motivation overall as well. Some people, by simply their disposition are much more likely to have a lack of motivation and interest in accomplishing goals; while other people, on the other side of the coin, are go-getters and are trying to achieve as much as they possibly can in their time here on Earth.

In this post, we will discuss the results of motivation: a decision to procrastinate or to not procrastinate. An argument will be made that those with more motivation will tend to procrastinate less, while those will less motivation may tend to procrastinate more.

What is Procrastination?

To start, it is most helpful to first define and describe what procrastination is…

Procrastination is the act of putting off something that needs to be done at a later time. In other words, procrastination occurs when there is something that needs to be accomplished and there is often a deadline for this task to be done (however a deadline is not always required).

Many people procrastinate and there are different levels of procrastination. Some people procrastinate longer (putting things off until the very last minute) whereas some individuals may procrastinate in smaller increments (putting things off a few hours or days and not waiting until the very last minute). Regardless, procrastination can have benefits as well as drawbacks.

Benefits of Procrastination

Procrastination gets a bad rap, as most people associate procrastination with a problem and a negative connotation. While there are certainly negative things that can come from procrastination, this phenomenon is not always a bad thing.

At times, it can be productive to procrastinate. If there are many things that are needed to be done, it can be beneficial to put off things that are not as important or as pressing and accomplish those tasks at a later time.

For those who are prone to working a lot (workaholics), procrastinating can sometimes be beneficial. Even though there may be tasks that need to be accomplished, it can be healthy for one’s relationships to put off these tasks to spend time in one’s relationships to give the relationship the time and attention it needs to flourish and grow.

Benefits of Procrastination 


Sometimes putting something off until a later point can give us time to think and prepare for the task. It may also help increase the motivation to start working by having increased pressure to create the impetus to move and work.

Drawbacks of Procrastination

Although there are some benefits to procrastinating, more often than not procrastination leads to problems. Usually, there are more drawbacks to procrastinating than there are benefits although this is not always the case.

The most negative part of procrastination is probably the stress that it often leads to. When individuals put things off, especially until the last minute, this leads to a stress response in the body. They may start feeling nervous or anxious that the task will not get completed on time – or at all. This worry can cause headaches, stomach pains, and tension in the body.

Another drawback of procrastination is that the work that is needed to be completed often suffers as a result of waiting until the last second to get it accomplished. Most people need time to complete tasks to their fullest and best effort. By waiting until right before the task needs to be accomplished, the amount of time to accomplish the task gets shrunk dramatically. Furthermore, the stress of waiting until the last minute can impact performance as well.

Stress, especially when in large amounts, can cause the body to tense up and can cause problems with cognition. Having one’s thinking and movements (mental and physical aspects) impacted can make performing any task and accomplishing any goal more difficult.

Balance Your Procrastination Habits

Balance Your Procrastination Habits

Altogether, it is recommended that individuals procrastinate wisely and in moderation. Oftentimes, the consensus thought is that procrastination is always bad. However, this is not always the case. While procrastinating can produce negative results, there are times when procrastination can be beneficial.

Just like with almost everything in life, procrastination is not all bad, nor is it all good. Finding a balance in life between when one accomplishes tasks and when they use their time to meet their personal and social life is crucial. This balance can be found by using procrastination sparingly and only at times when it is appropriate.

Clarity Clinic

At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in therapy and psychiatry services. To learn more about how we can support your mental health, call Clarity Clinic at (312) 815-9660 or schedule an appointment today.

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References:

A Pro for Procrastination

Mindset Monday: The Pros and Cons of Procrastination

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