At work and at home, people form 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 large amount of work that needs 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 left out for a significant amount of time, the household will be unable to operate 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. However, once a family member habitually procrastinates for extended periods of time and leaves his or her part of house work unfinished, other family members might begin to resent the chores being left unfinished and being loaded down with the additional 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 co-workers, and the relationships between business team members are an important 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 event of procrastination at home, the only dependable method to better the situation is for the procrastinator to adopt whatever organizational and time management steps are requisite to accomplish a sensible amount of work.