Your procrastination can literally be making you sick!

Procrastination making you sick

Recent research has shown the procrastination can have significant impacts on not only your productivity, but also can cause major health issues.

A recent post in Psychology Today by Dr. Timothy Pychyl, Ph.D. (Carleton University, Canada) discusses how procrastination is a much more significant issue then as just a “thief of time”.

Based on research conducted for an upcoming book, “Procrastination, Health, and Well Being”, studies have found significant health impacts that result from procrastination.

..there is strong evidence that procrastination is related to illness through the direct effects of stress, as well as the indirect effects of fewer wellness behaviors (e.g.: less exercise or sleep, poor diet) as well as treatment delay.
— Dr. Timothy Pychyl, Ph.D

In research performed by Dr. Fuschia Sirois, Ph.D. (Sheffield University, UK) , her “procrastination-health model” demonstrated that higher procrastination levels were associated with greater incidence of Hypertension (“HT”) and Cardio-Vascular Disease (“CVD”) when compared to healthy individuals.

Most alarming was that this effect was found even after controlling for other known predictors of HT and CVD, such as age, sex, ethnicity, education level, and several major personality traits associated with these conditions.

While acknowledging the limitations of this single study, Dr. Sirois highlights the importance of this to anyone with cardiovascular problems:

. . . the current findings provide suggestive evidence for the importance of identifying individuals with HT/CVD who chronically procrastinate for interventions to address the self-critical and avoidant coping styles that may contribute to further health risks.
— Dr. Fuschia Sirois, Ph.D.

The bottom line here is that procrastination impacts more than “soft issues” such as personal productivity, happiness, success, and achievement.

It also has a strong association with significant, physical ailments, including HT/CVD, and is especially a risk for anyone with these conditions.

Bottom line is that your procrastination can be making you sick!

Although Dr. Pycyl’s book is not yet out (it's scheduled for mid-2016),he has another great book on strategies for dealing with procrastination that you may want to look at:


He also runs the Procrastination Research Group, which is a website that focuses on procrastination issues, articles, and resources, so feel free to check it out as well.