9 Ways Procrastination “Costs” You Time, Money and Health

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Procrastination costs you your health
Numerous studies have documented the effects of procrastination on health. For example two longitudinal studies examined the effects of procrastination on student’s health. At the beginning of the semester, procrastinators reported lower levels of stress and illness than non-procrastinators, but this trend quickly changed as the semester drew on. By the end of the semester, procrastinators reported higher levels of stress and illness than non-procrastinators and were overall more sicker. The researchers concluded that procrastination is a self-defeating behavior which is characterized by short term gain but long term costs. Not writing the essay when there is plenty of time in the tank might feel good right now, but the picture soon turns bleaker when the tank is empty and the deadline is looming. Psychologist William James once said, “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”

Costs you money on extra credit card fees
Here is a good example of how procrastination will cost you money. What happens when you pay your credit card late? The Bank slaps you will a late payment fee of $25 for example. If you pay your credit card late 3 times a year that is an extra $75 you have wasted through procrastination. Not to mention the extra stress and annoyance of seeing the extra changers appearing on your bank statement – I know this because it happened to me. This can all be avoided by paying your credit card on time. Christopher Parker says, “Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.”

Costs valuable time
Procrastination causes you to waist time, and as time is your most precious resource, procrastination can be extremely costly. Benjamin Franklin once said, “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again”. Time is your most precious resource; it is more valuable than money, gold, silver or precious stones. Time is the most valuable gift you can ever give to another person; because once you have given it you can never get it back again. Charles Dickens advice is “to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” Generally we protect ourselves from thieves; we lock our cars and homes, install alarm systems and remain vigilant in risky places. So why not protect yourself from procrastination the same way you protect your property and your life!

You buy gifts at the last minute which causes extra stress and costs more money
When you wait until the last minute to buy gifts you invariably rush around rather than take your time shopping, so instead of getting a good deal you end up spending far more than you intended. Imagine the annoyance, crying and disappointment of your 6 year old who has been nagging you for months for the new gismo and when you finally go to the shop to get one they are all sold out, or you have missed the special and now have to pay full price. Once again procrastination has cost you money. Max Brooks says, “If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining.”

Book your Air Ticket at the last minute which is much more expensive
If you do a lot of flying you will know what I am taking about right here. Leaving the booking of your air ticket to the very last minute really adds up the cost. You might pay double or triple the price of a ticket purchased a few weeks in advance. On some airlines the ticket prices go up daily. It’s all based on supply and demand, as soon as tickets get sold; the available seats are reduced and thus become more valuable. The price you see today will have gone up by tomorrow.

Delay your retirement savings
Here is one which will cost you severely. The sooner you start saving for your retirement the more money you will have waiting for you when you retire. But many people delay starting saving until it’s too late to make any measurable difference in their lives. Instead of millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars waiting in their retirement account, they have barely enough for a year’s income. Don’t wait for tomorrow, start saving now.

You have to pay those extra shipping costs
When you leave it too long to make that purchase of stationary, stock or products when you almost run out, you end up having to pay extra for the overnight delivery charges. Do that enough times and you soon notice the negative effects it has on your bottom line.

File Taxes late incurs fees or fines
When you are late at filing your taxes you get hit with interest charges, or late filing penalties. In 2002, it is reported that 40 % of Americans waited too long to file their taxes, missed the deadline and got a nice $400 fine. That’s a huge loss of personal income due to procrastination and hundreds of millions of extra revenue for the tax man.

Costs you your business or home
How many people keep putting off taking out insurance until it is too late? They keep putting off that house or car insurance until the fateful day when something nasty happens. Then there is the case when your insurance renewal is coming due and instead of phoning around to get updated quotes from other companies who could offer you better rates, you procrastinate to the point where you have to renew your current policy to maintain cover without benefiting form a discount or reduced rate you could get elsewhere.

Productivity Tip: Take a moment and weigh up how procrastination costs you, then do something about it!

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