Procrastination and Occupational Stress

Procrastination and Occupational Stress

To procrastinate is to voluntarily delay an anticipated course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay. This behavior, despite its costs, is common in workplaces, and other life domains. Procrastination often injures people in their work and in their lives. There can be little doubt that procrastination causes difficulties and hurts the opportunities of organizations. The reality is that nothing good comes out of procrastination because it wastes time and often wastes opportunities. There are times when delayed action is the best course of action but when delay becomes the norm, procrastination has set in. Procrastination may result in severe loss of personal productivity, as well as social disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments. Employees need to recognize their personal patterns of procrastination and work at eliminating them. Employees will lose precious time, personal credibility and miss important opportunities because of their lack of planning.

By understanding why it occurs and how to prevent it, managers can optimize performance and productivity. Many researchers have identified effect of occupational stress on work procrastination.  It’s confirmed that Occupational Stress impacts the procrastinating behavior of the employees. Work-related stress is one of the most important workplace health risks for employees in developed and developing countries. Stress can cause job-related dissatisfaction, which is itself, the single most obvious psychological effect of stress such as tension, anxiety, depression, aggression, irritability, confusion, boredom and procrastination

The results of studies have demonstrated moderate relationship between procrastination and occupational stress. Managers with different level of occupational stress procrastinate in a different way. The procrastinatory behavior in managers with low level of stress is maximum. Most likely they do not feel the urgency of completing the task and hence procrastinate more in comparison to their counterparts. Managers with high level of stress were found to be least procrastinating. Procrastination might be the one of the rationale for stress as that job-related Procrastination as a main source to work-related stress can take away from workplace.


Dr Sonia Munjal
Associate Professor OB/HR
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management