Procrastination could be harming you a lot more than you think.
New research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that people who reported having a chronic procrastination habit were more likely to have heart disease.
Two groups, one with participants suffering from cardiovascular disease and the other with participants in good health, were given questionnaires that measured procrastination tendencies. The study’s researchers found that those with cardiovascular problems were more likely to agree with statements like “I am continually saying I’ll do it tomorrow” than the healthy group.
While the study didn’t seek to explain why the correlation between procrastination and heart disease may exist, it’s clear that putting off important tasks and decisions isn’t a healthy lifestyle choice. Those who work at the last minute face increased stress, which can contribute to inflammation and hypertension. As well, the inclination to procrastinate, as applied to health issues that may relate to heart disease, could also be part of the explanation behind the findings.
Luckily for your health and well-being, you can stop procrastinating … today. According to Steve Chandler in his book “Time Warrior,” procrastination can be overcome by asking “What needs to be done now in these three minutes?” and then doing it:
“Now knowing I only have a three-minute commitment I just do the thing I was procrastinating about! I just make that a policy! Just do that one thing– you know what it is– it’s the thing you’re thinking about right now.
Don’t think in terms of patterns. None of this: ‘I always’ or ‘I never’ because those globalizing thoughts will never serve you. They will scare you and make you a pessimist.
Keep your life creative and simple: what needs to be done now in these three minutes? That’s all you ever need to ask, and you’ll never have anything like procrastination bother you again.”