Among the general population, procrastination has reported prevalence rates as high as 20-25 percent. It’s a counterproductive habit, associated with emotional distress and lower life satisfaction. Discomfort is caused by a procrastinator’s mental preoccupation with the postponed task. People don’t only put off unpleasant tasks. In fact, procrastination may actually let us savor the anticipation of pleasant events. Research suggests that future-oriented people tend to procrastinate less as they recognize when opportunities are escaping them. By reflecting on our mortality, we can be stirred into active engagement in the present.
- Procrastination tends to lead to higher levels of stress and a lessening of overall life satisfaction.
- A tendency to continuously postpone tasks can actually prove injurious, as it can be a risk factor leading to impaired physical and mental health.
- Although we often out off unpleasant things, we sometimes push tasks forward in an effort to prolong the anticipation.
“Considerable research has been devoted to understanding procrastination. Empirical investigations have focused primarily upon delaying tasks that have deadlines, especially in academic settings.”