Procrastination, like all of your behaviours carries consequences. Whether your behaviour is conscious or unconscious, you will eventually have to deal with the effects. The effects of procrastination are something that we all have to confront and deal with from time to time. It’s only natural to procrastinate at times but, the way you deal with your procrastination patterns will determine what effects procrastination has on your life.
One of the most obvious effects of procrastination is the failure to reap the rewards that would come from taking action. When you procrastinate you simple fail to take action on the very things you know will bring you the rewards that you desire. Although you know what you want and even what you need to do to get it, you still have to take action and it’s usually at this point where procrastination sets in.
Because the results that you desire are often something bigger and better than what you currently have, you must step outside your comfort zone to get it. You might have to take actions that you are not comfortable with to which your unconscious mind reacts by “protecting” you against that which is uncomfortable. Although the short term effects of procrastination might seem as “positive” the long term effects are almost always negative.
Failing to reap the rewards of taking action can have many knock on effects. Taking action on your ideas and desires is one of your most empowering gifts. It is the process by which you can make the intangible tangible. Through your actions and your behaviour you create or un-create your life. It’s not only the direct results of your actions that creates you outcomes, but often the very fact that you are actually consciously affecting the conditions of your life. It not just your actions, but rather your failure to take action that will have a greater effect on the rewards you reap from life. From this point of view the effects of procrastination is not just a direct but also an indirect loss of rewards. Every action is a cause set in motion that affects and build on past and future events to the point where we can never really determine the actual effect of one specific action. More than anything else, action opens you up to opportunity.
Opportunity is rarely the result of you waiting for it. When you put yourself in line with what you want most through your conscious action you expose yourself to opportunity. It’s never a case of whether you have opportunities but rather are you noticing the opportunities? But even more importantly, are you using the opportunities or are you procrastinating? One thing is for certain and that is when procrastination becomes a habit you won’t even notice all the opportunities on your doorstep. You will live your life in distraction, constantly looking for short term “pleasures” to avoid the real challenges that will cause you to reap the real results. You will always “turn a blind eye” to the real opportunities. Thos who succeed are rarely the people with the most or the most splendid opportunities. They are the people who saw an opportunity where no one else saw it and then they took action to realize it.
Out of all the negative effects of procrastination and indecision the failure to spot and act on opportunity is probably the saddest. So many people with so much talent fail to live up to their true potential because of procrastination. The rewards you reap from life will be either a direct or an indirect result of your actions or your inactions. Not only will procrastination prevent you from reaping the rewards but your inaction will prevent you from even being exposed to opportunity. Opportunity is knocking but you have to take action and at least open the door. Don’t let the effects of procrastination stand between what you are and what you can become. As the famous entrepreneur and businessman Victor Kiam once said: “Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.”
This article is published with the permission of the author, Deon Du Plessis. He is the founder of The Self Improvement Gym, and author of (in)action, a groundbreaking new action guide on eliminating procrastination. For more of his in-depth insights into personal development and access to his free self improvement library visit The Self Improvement Gym