The Hidden Cost of Procrastination

by | Sep 15, 2016 | ADHD Success Skills and Tools | 2 comments

cost of procrastinationProcrastination is a hot topic here at ADD Success World Headquarters these days. Actually, when you’re dealing with ADHD, procrastinating is always a hot topic. But, ADHD and the cost of procrastination have popped up in more coaching calls this week.

Perhaps there’s something in the air.

With ADHD in the picture, you know procrastination is an evil demon. But, have you considered what procrastinating costs you?

I mean more than the financial cost of ADHD procrastination. I’m talking about the organizational, emotional and time costs as well.

Take a look at many of your ADHD challenges, and you’ll find procrastination buried near the root.

  • That pile of clothes on the chair in your bedroom? Procrastination plays a part. Would your clothes be in a wrinkled mess if you’d tossed them in the hamper when you took them off?
  • The late fee on your electric bill? Thank you procrastination! If you’d handled the bill when it arrived instead of tossing it in a stack to deal with later, you’d have saved a few bucks.
  • Late for a meeting? If you’d left when your meeting reminder went off you wouldn’t have had to race across town and make excuses because you were late. (You do use meeting reminders, don’t you?)
  • Lost an hour frantically searching for your car keys? Procrastination again. Imagine if you’d put your keys away instead of tossing them down thinking, “I’ll do that later.”

As you see from these examples, ADHD’s procrastination costs you time, money, and stress. (By the way, those are all real life situations from recent ADHD coaching calls.)

How to Reduce the Cost of Procrastination

Start cutting your ADHD procrastination costs by noticing your habits and thoughts. You can’t fix it until you notice it.

  • Notice when you delay taking an action and the problems it causes.
  • Notice your self-talk or thoughts when you procrastinate.

Focus on doing tiny tasks immediately when it makes sense. Socks in the hamper instead of on the floor. Shred the paper instead of tossing it in a “shred later” pile. Get the idea?

With ADHD the cost of procrastination is high. I urge you to notice it and its impact on your life and business. Outsmarting procrastination is key to living successfully with Adult Attention Deficit.

Want the Bullet Train Ticket to tackling procrastination? Join the ADHD Success Club. We focus on tools and tricks so you stop procrastinating and start getting stuff done.


  1. Gerry

    I’m a 60 year old, (educated to a postgraduate level) fit and healthy man. Almost. (twitch, twitch!)

    Only now, I started to notice I had some weird, annoying, and frustrating habits that I couldn’t get past. I saw an article about a journalist who found he had ADD. Blimey, can’t finish anything, distracted, going down a tunnel of nerdy interests, pathologically late, last , but what would getting diagnosed achieve? About two years lost in your life with our broken health service.
    Wife just laughed, I am just trying to justify my slack habits with a diagnosis…

    Why didn’t anybody notice earlier,including me? They did. Untidy, late, disorganised, “unreliable”, Either obsessive determination to finish something or ( usual) never finishes anything.

    I can see now that when I was younger I was just charging round like a pinball machine on a lot of NOW projects!. My energy luckily got me through a lifetime of near misses. A levels retake, degree resits, missed flights, screw ups in work. But I was constantly focussing on something other than where i should have been. I was a skinny bundle of ” i can do that” energy. But that energy was often directed in a distraction or to make good one of my cock ups.

    Why would I have spotted some of these masked underlying behaviours when I spent all my time, ALL my time, offsetting and coping with the problems i self-inflicted

    I went through some heavy emotional stuff that stripped me of my pinball machine brio. A young man, after watching my father die all too slowly in a long coma, I was living with my mum as she disintegrated with Alzieimers. Something went. I lost hope. That spark went. Then it happened again, nightmare contact battle for my kids, Maybe people with ADD or ADHD react to these things differently. i don’t know.

    But I feel that this heavy stuff has stripped me of my “go for it at any cost energy”. I don’t think i would have spotted my ADD behaviours otherwise

    But I find myself strangely trapped and frustrated.

    I used to be someone who went charging round with non stop energy when I had an idea (often on a distracting ” NOW” project – rebuild the car engine when exams are coming up) contrasted with zero

    I started to wonder wtf I was still at my age, doing stupid sabotage. Missing flights, late bills, staying up too late on the laptop when I know it would mess up something big the next day.

    I used to have an extreme project focused energy, I could bounce around, I now see I was pumped up on” Now” projects , which distracted from the facts that I was a car crash of lateness, self sabotage, distraction realise now probably have always .
    Anyway, i know it is a bit of a cathartic disclosure. Thanks for your informative posts especially about procrastination. i have I have been meaning to post a comment but i just couldn’t be bothered until now. lol

    • Dana Rayburn

      Hey Gerry, I’m so glad you posted. Your story will help others. And, I understand your frustration. So many years of struggle… And, yet, you’re still young enough to do something about it! (I have 80 year olds in the ADHD Success Club.) Learn all you can about ADHD. Get treatment and coaching. There is always hope. Living easier with ADHD isn’t an easy journey, and it’s well worth it! Warmly, Dana


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