The Financial Cost of Procrastination

"The future is that time when you'll wish that you'd done what you aren't doing now."

Procrastinating is Expensive

Procrastinating in your professional life can cause a great deal of strife in your relationships. This strife will become magnified to the point of very serious financial consequences for your career or business you own if you do not take steps to stop procrastinating and get on with all of your essential business tasks.

The most serious consequence will of course be monetary, due to lost wages and lucrative business opportunities. So why do people do it?


Why People Procrastinate at Work

Procrastination can be the result of a fear of failure, or of success. No one likes to feel a failure, so it may seem reasonable to do nothing rather than to work hard and have your efforts criticized.

In terms of fear of success, it feels wonderful to be admired, but being put in the spotlight is not something everyone wants. It also means others will have higher expectations of you because you’re a "star."

Related to this is perfectionism. You might hate being seen at what you feel is less than your best, so you will endlessly tweak your reports or PowerPoint decks and run out of time for other important tasks.

Procrastination can also be the result of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. The work is going to be difficult, so you will just do one, two, three enjoyable things and then get started. You are rewarding yourself without ever doing the work, and meanwhile the clock is ticking.

The Clock Is Ticking

Procrastination can have serious effects on your career or the company you own because things need to get done in a timely manner in order to keep the business pushing forward with its goals. You have to show you are aligned with those goals as an employee by doing the work assigned, or you will be seen as unreliable.

An unreliable worker is too much of a risk for most companies. It also causes a great deal of resentment if others need to cover for you or pick up the slack. The more they cover for you, the more you might procrastinate. Eventually you will be found out and lose that job, which could lead to financial disaster.

The CEO as Procrastinator

If you are running your own business, being a chronic procrastinator can lead to financial troubles that become so bad you might go bankrupt.

Good partnerships and happy customers are the lifeblood of any successful business. Good marketing keeps the cash coming in.

There are a number of essential activities in every modern business, including:

  • Good business communications
  • Marketing, offline and online, such as running a website and social networking
  • Customer acquistion
  • Follow through in relation to new opportunities
  • Seasonal promotions
  • Partnering with vendors
  • Contracts being put together in a timely manner
  • bills being paid - rent, utilities, essential supplies and so on
  • Taking inventory
  • Re-ordering inventory and supplies as needed
  • and so much more...

We can see that most of these activities need to be done on a regular basis, usually monthly, though of course that can change during the busiest time of the year such as Christmas. Procrastinating will only lead to lost opportunities, which can have severe financial consequences your business might not be able to recover from.

If your job or business is starting to feel like you are always a day late and a dollar short, it’s time to stop procrastinating and get on with what needs to be done to make your career and company healthier.