Sunday, August 31, 2008

Procrastination, Don’t Let It Kill You

We all put things off until a later date or time, but when it comes to your health and safety you better think twice about procrastinating. Procrastination may be the culprit in preventing success in one’s life. Procrastinators can even end up sabotaging themselves by putting obstacles in their own paths. They choose the paths that could actually hurt their performance so they do not succeed.

You might ask yourself, why an individual would do that to themselves. Amazingly twenty percent of the population recognizes that they are chronic procrastinators. Procrastination can become one’s routine and it has a dramatic affect on their life. The procrastinator doesn’t prepare properly for uncertainties and puts off health concerns. Even their financial obligations are set aside such as filing income tax returns late or not paying bills on time. The list goes on but as a society we do not view this as a serious problem.

Procrastination is not a problem of time management or of planning. Procrastination is developed; you are not born with it. Procrastination is an indirect learned behavior. It is one type of response to an authoritarian parenting style. A parent that is controlling keeps the child from developing the ability to regulate themselves, from internalizing their own intentions and then learning to act on them. This leads to the procrastinator to seek their friends for support rather than their parents, because they are more tolerant of their excuses. This unfortunately manifests into additional reinforcement of the procrastination.

Signs of a procrastinator can be found in their verbiage. Such as, "I feel like doing it tomorrow" but in fact they feel the same the following day. Or "I work best under pressure", but pressure does not make the difference. To extenuate the procrastination and protect their actions they will say "this isn't that important to me." The procrastinator actively looks for distractions. These distractions typically don't take a lot of commitment on their part. These distractions are ways to control their fear of failure.

There are different types of procrastinators and they procrastinate for different reasons. Adrenalin rush type or thrill-seekers will wait for the last minute for the exhilarated rush. Then there is the circumventor who has the fear in two areas, the fear of failure or the fear of success. Furthermore in either case these individuals would rather have you believe they lack effort, than ability. Then there is the procrastinator who cannot make a decision. They will abstain from making a decision to absolve themselves from the responsibility of the outcome.

There are big health costs that are associated with procrastination. Results of one study showed evidence of compromised immune systems that led to more colds, flu, gastrointestinal problems and also insomnia. Others will feel the consequences of the procrastinator. By shifting the burden of responsibility form the procrastinator onto others, the recipient will feel in addition stress and become resentful. Procrastination also destroys teamwork in the workplace and private relationships. If one recognizes themselves as being a procrastinator they can change their behavior. This does take time and is a step by step process.

For safety reason one should not procrastinate on setting up a Med File Now® (MedFN®) account. Just go to to get started. You don’t need a health condition to use just a desire to be safe.