The True Cost of Procrastination

Today we have a guest blog post from Lisa Crilley Mallis, Impactive Strategies, LLC

I have been reading The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey and I LOVE this book. One of the experts he quoted was Tim Pychyl, who said, “Everyone procrastinates.” For the sake of this post, I’m defining procrastination as NOT doing the task you’ve set out to do, the one you’ve determined is the most important task to complete at this time.

Different people procrastinate in different ways, and for different amounts of time. According to, 31% of people admitted to consciously wasting an hour each day, and 26% admitted consciously wasting 2 or more hours every day. (Imagine how much time is really wasted when you factor in the unconscious amount!)

If that doesn’t make you feel better about procrastinating, what will?!

How can you procrastinate less?

Here’s one tip that Chris suggests – list the costs. When you decide to put off a high value task and work on a lower value task instead, list the costs of putting the task off.

It could be a late fee for filing your taxes late. Or a plateau on weight loss because you chose not to exercise. Or a substandard work product because you rushed at the last minute. Or creating a log-jam of tasks that are now critical because you ignored your schedule. Worst case scenario … losing credibility with a client when you miss a deadline.

Take a look at what tasks you’ve procrastinated on over the past few months and write down what the cost was for each. Now the moment of truth: was the cost worth the perceived benefit of procrastinating in the first place? Probably not.

If the task was important enough to take on and add to your to-do list, then it was important enough to complete. Use your new awareness to alter your mind-set about productivity vs. procrastination, and achieve more!


Lisa Crilley Mallis is a certified coach, author, and speaker.  She works with focused, successful business owners who are overcommitted and still want to achieve more.  For over 15 years, Lisa has provided customized, real solutions to everyday time management challenges, allowing her clients to accomplish more in less time, without giving up their nights and weekends. Contact Lisa at