At work and at home, people build relationships in which they depend on one another. Family life can be rocky or smooth depending on the ability of spouses and family members to divide the necessary home duties and follow through on their individual responsibilities. Relationships between co-workers also involve a level of trust that each member of the business team will contribute an adequate amount of work to a given assignment. In both of these circumstances, one person’s failure to do a fair share of the work can be devastating to the effectiveness of the family or work group and can also hinder people from trusting one another. Therefore, when procrastination becomes a significant influence in a person’s habits, both the practical and the emotional sides of the person’s family and work relationships will suffer.
In family relationships, there is always a great amount of work that takes to be accomplished in order for the home to run smoothly. Periodic tasks might include maintenance on a home or on appliances, work in the yard, laundry, cleaning, washing dishes, cooking, keeping a vehicle or vehicles in working order, and child care. If any of these chores are neglected for a significant amount of time, the household will be unable to function effectively. In cases where one family member gets behind in chores, especially due to a reasonable situation like an illness or the need to work extra hours at a job, other family members will probably be happy to work around the slowdown and even pick up the excess chores temporarily.
Still, when a family member habitually procrastinates for extensive periods of time and allows for his or her contribution of house work undone, other family members may begin to resent the chores being left incomplete and being burdened with the added work. The situation can be especially tense if the procrastinator uses entertainment or games as a procrastination device, watching television or playing computer games while the other members of the household struggle with more than their share of chores. Regardless of whether the procrastinator is a spouse, parent, child, sibling or in-law, only an end to the procrastination and a responsible amount of work will remedy the strain that procrastinating can cause in a family.
In a business environment, procrastination can be similarly destructive. People who work full-time spend a majority of their time during the day with their colleagues, and the relationships between business team members are a crucial part of the social lives of professionals. When one member of a business team is a chronic
procrastinator, the other team members often need to shoulder the procrastinator’s share of work to meet deadlines. And when members of the team each have a specific field of work, one person’s procrastination may leave the others unable to get the information they need to complete their own assignments. Resentments, distrust and hostility may result, particularly in cases where the entire team misses out on a bonus or other reward due to one member’s procrastination habits. And as in the case of procrastination at home, the only true method to improve the situation is for the procrastinator to take whatever organizational and time management steps are necessary to accomplish a fair amount of work.