How procrastination negatively affects your career growth

Mar 31, 2021

This is all of us.

We know procrastination is bad. We know that we are putting off important things.


Situations go from I have plenty of time to finish the task to I have to finish a year worth of tasks in 6 hours.


Then we end up sacrificing sleep night after night to finish a task.


Procrastination doesn’t only impact your homework, project, assignment or your office work.


It also greatly impacts your career growth and your life.


A brilliant, smart and skilled person who procrastinates will lose to an average person who doesn’t procrastinate.


Remember the story of the rabbit and the tortoise? The rabbit was way faster than the tortoise. 


But just because the rabbit decided to chill out instead of finishing the task at hand, it lost to a slow tortoise.


Let me show you how procrastination eats away your career prospects. 

How procrastination eats away your career prospects

Have a look at this grid that Tim Urban designed in his blog.

This essentially is your entire life. This is it. 


Each row is one decade.


If you are graduating from college, then you have already finished two rows of this grid.


Go ahead. Colour those two rows or remove them.


The remaining uncoloured rows are all you have.


You would have noticed that when you procrastinate, time seems to fly.


You have two weeks to finish a project. You decide to chill on the first day. You still have 13 days to complete the project.


This chilling session goes on for days and time flies like express train passing by a station at full speed.


And suddenly, you barely have one whole day to finish a project. Time’s gone and you didn’t even realise it.


Trust me this has happened to me too. 


I see this with people who have jobs too. 


One day of procrastination turns into one week of procrastination which again turns into a whole month where they barely did anything productive.


The more they procrastinate the more unproductive months they have.


At the end of the year, when everyone is celebrating the new year, they would be sitting and reflecting on how they wasted a whole year.


And when they look at that 90-year grid, they realise that one more slot has filled up and they didn’t do anything useful.


Unfortunately, like new year resolutions, people remember this guilt for a few days and then forget it.


After that, they go back to their old habits. What they don’t realise is that these habits are slowly chipping away at a promising career.


I have seen people with a ton of smartness and a promising future destroy their careers, just because they ended up being master procrastinators.


Their minds just work in weird ways. Tim Urban explains it hilariously.


Time is an exhaustive resource. That means, once you lose or spend time, you can’t get it back.


Thanks to the thousands of distractions we have today, it’s easy to get engaged in things that prevent us from doing our jobs or tasks.


The problem is that we can’t physically see the impact of procrastination.


Instead, you can feel the impact. But unfortunately, by the time you feel and realise it, you would have spent a lot of time not doing what you should have done.


This grid that Tim Urban has created, helps you see the impact first hand.


He has created monthly and weekly versions of the grid as well.


So if you have wasted a week, you can see that you have spent a week.


That’s why I’d urge you to print out this grid (I’d recommend weekly) and you mark a week every time a week of your life is over.


You can get the weekly, monthly and yearly grid here

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