The Plagues of Procrastination: How It Stops You From Getting What You Want


Do you know what procrastination really is? Let’s have a look at this list – tick (or just nod) to whichever one sounds like you:

  • You’re on Facebook every two minutes (goodness knows doing what) instead of doing something more productive, like that report you’re supposed to finish in an hour.
  • You spend so much time talking to people about their lives and how you can ‘help’ while forgetting your own life as you focus so much on selling products to them and building a ‘scheme’ for ‘secure income’ that you don’t quite understand.
  • Work, to you, is more about ‘socializing’ and having fun all the way… and you think the people that you are hanging around with will give you the result that you actually want.
  • You bought so many kinds of books (maybe one about procrastinating)… and you still haven’t read a word off it!
  • You made the queue in the coffee shop a lot longer, because you still can’t decide what to have at the counter.
  • You’re getting dressed in the car, or putting on makeup in the car on the way to work. You thought you saved time… but even then, you’re late anyway!

So, do you get the picture – about how a procrastinator could look like?

(I hope you laughed a little at this list, I wasn’t really being serious – though if you do find yourself ticking and nodding away, then you may have a serious issue)!

Well, on a more serious outlook, procrastination is when you lose focus on what you’re supposed to be doing now and seem to want to do something else that isn’t important (like making twenty cups of coffee for yourself before you actually get round to do grocery shopping for the family).

Some form of procrastination can be good, others bad. But the most important thing is recognizing it and knowing how it affects not just you, but people around you. Summing up from the examples above:

  • Some things really need to happen… and you’re supposed to make them happen!In business, you are in charge of it. You make and decide when things happen and should happen. But what if you’re not there? What if you promised clients to meet deadlines but you miss them and end up constantly apologizing? How would you like to be the client instead, always waiting, hearing apologies and not getting any results from others? Where’s the report?
  • It’s not only you that you may be disappointing.No one works alone in this world. People were waiting for you at the meeting, but they left and become less confident about you. Because you did your makeup in the car, you look less presentable than you should have. How can you take anyone seriously if you were in the opposite situation?
  • In time, people, and all that’s good start ‘disappearing’ from you.

Just like how you keep trying to sell goods and build a scheme for yourself, your income will be just as unstable as the pyramid you think you are building. As you turn out to be unreliable, it shows on your products and services. People will eventually turn away from you, and you will have to keep starting over (which is why your ‘pyramid’ is not actually building!)

So what can you do to beat procrastination before it turns you into a plague? Start by remembering these helpful phrases:

“Procrastination is the thief of time.”
– Edward Young

Well, do you like it when someone steals something from you? You’re stealing from yourself, because instead of experiencing all the other loving, joyful, fun opportunities that you aimed for, you fall back to your own familiar habits that put you off from what you really want to get.

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
– Don Marquis

Set goals for your personal and professional life. Know what you want and keep it in focus. Plan your time so you recognize what is important and what can actually be put off (all work and no play, after all, makes Jack a very, very dull boy). A personal coach or a really good friend can help you start and keep on track!

Do you sometimes tell yourself  ‘if only’ this or that happened and was done, you could have been so much better? Do you feel you have potential, but you don’t seem to be showing it? What will you do now about it?



  1. Another insightful post, Patricia. One of my favorite quotes about procrastination is “I shall procrastinate tomorrow.” It makes me chuckle every time. I agree, the inability to prioritize, putting off what needs to be done NOW, dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, etc all lead to procrastination. I used to be quite the procrastinator. Thankfully, that is now a distant memory. Cheers!

    • Thanks for your insights Srinivas and the fun quote you offer for this specific situation;)
      I found out that procrastination has various aspects when I was sure I did not procrastinate, for example did you know that forgetting
      to measure our perfomance on our golas in a form of procrastination? or avoiding to meet people that we know can help us in a certain way is also a subte form of procrastination?

      Hope to see you soon and congratultaions for your blog , you also know how to share interesting information!

  2. Interesting article Patricia. As you point out not all instances of procrastination are bad … but at least one cause of the bad kind is lack of focus. Without clear, meaningful priorities it’s very easy to let our days, weeks, months and years slip away.

  3. Well, I PLANNED to write a comment on your article yesterday, but….

    Just kidding! ; )

    This is a perfect topic to kick of the new year. I’ve found that I can overcome procrastination by setting firm deadlines for myself (i.e, not meeting them is simply not an option) and also by using the concept I call “Focused Energy”.

    Using the deadlines, I set a time and date to work on something, and then I just turn off everything around me and get super focused and knock out the task. This has helped me tremendously balancing my law practice and our marketing business.

    • Thanks Natasha for your comment, you made me smile with your smart comment!
      Using deadlines is indded important and we need to see under the surface what is hidden wehn a person procrastinates so that the deadlines are respected, don’t you agree?

Leave a Reply