As we all know, procrastination is a big problem in achieving our goals, but did you know there are different types of procrastination?
In this blog post, we’ll look into five types of procrastinators: the perfectionist, the dreamer, the worrier, the crisis-maker and the overdoer.
By analyzing your behavioral style, you’ll learn what type or types you may identify, and you will be able to find effective remedies to regain control of your life.
I’ll also give you examples of procrastination so that you can understand the differences in detail.
You will be able to recognize the various types, and you will learn practical strategies to beat them, so let’s get started!
- Procrastination can be categorized into 6 types: Perfectionists, Dreamers, Worriers, Crisis-Makers, Defiers and Overdoers.
- Strategies for overcoming the most common type of procrastination can include reducing overly ambitious goals, creating smaller tasks, and practicing self-compassion for productivity addiction.
- Digital-age procrastinators must find a balance between ambition and avoiding being overwhelmed by allowing productive procrastination techniques like scheduling coffee dates with friends during times of high energy or implementing the Pomodoro Technique on large projects.
- To achieve successful goal completion, individuals facing each type of procrastinator must develop specific tactics that best suit their habits and behavior to escape the vicious cycle of delaying action instead of accomplishment.
What are the main types of procrastination?
If you want to stop procrastinating, you first need to understand what type you are and the negative consequences.
Even if you want to help a friend or colleague do it, it is essential to understand the differences between the various types.
By doing so, you can better understand how they think and act and why you or they procrastinate in the first place.
Down below, you will find a description of each of the 6 types of procrastinators, their behavior, and how to help them.
The perfectionist procrastinator has a unique type of challenge regarding task avoidance.
They strive for unattainable and excessively high standards, often leading them to delay starting because they feel the task is never good enough.
Everything they do cannot be less than perfect.
Consequentially, they tend to have a low tolerance for failure, engage in excessive deliberation while analyzing tasks, and question their own abilities even when faced with simple tasks.
This kind of thinking traps them into an eternal loop of self-doubt, creating a style of procrastination where they do nothing due to overthinking.
I have always been a perfectionist obsessed with details and having everything under control.
To overcome this type of procrastination, perfectionists must focus on taking small steps towards completing their goal instead of limiting themselves by setting overly ambitious targets.
For example, I started to lower my standards (far too high) and started to see failure not as a terrible thing but as a natural part of the long run in everyday life.
The Dreamer is the opposite of the perfectionist: a procrastinator who salivates in daydreams and fantasies about what they could be or do, but they hardly take action.
Often, they are convinced by their ideas, believing that with just a little bit more thought, things will eventually work themselves out.
As such, most activity from dreamers comes with no deadline until outside factors force them out of their thoughts and onto actionable achievements.
And obviously, they don’t work until the last minute, making it difficult to finish any task.
In this case, creating precise deadlines and an action plan is fundamental.
Worrier procrastinators are defined by their avoidant behavior towards tasks or activities that trigger worries.
This procrastination style tends to be plagued with low self-confidence, negative thinking patterns, and irrational fears of failure.
They will often put off starting the task due to such fear and anxiety hovering over them, leaving the work unfinished until the last minute, regardless of whether it’s an important task.
The best thing they can do is start working on their self-esteem and create micro goals so they understand that they are actually capable of achieving them.
It is also essential to practice self-compassion and focus on their strengths, stopping to focus on their flaws instead.
In this case, an accountability partner is definitely of great help, motivating them and helping them on their journey.
Crisis-makers can’t accomplish any task until the very last minute.
They may feel an adrenaline rush from completing a task they waited on under pressure, knowing how much is at stake or what will happen if they don’t finish it in time.
For instance, I’m the complete opposite, and I can guarantee you that working with this type of person is complicated.
A great example of this would be someone who leaves studying for a big exam until the day before, only starting when they genuinely have no other choice but to get things done immediately.
There are two main reasons for this chronic behavior: they think they work better under pressure and have poor time management caused by procrastination.
The cure for all this?
Focus on developing accountability so you understand the importance of taking responsibility and completing your tasks most profitably.
From a behavioral perspective, an overdoer may even seem positive compared to classic procrastinators who tend to put off things to do.
But the reality is that these people take on too much work and fail to complete the most important tasks.
If you are an overdoer-type procrastinator, it may seem complicated for you to be able to focus on a task because you don’t understand how much effort or energy needs to go into getting something done efficiently and quickly.
You just get stuck in doing everything all at once.
I know that feels rude, but you need to start saying “no” when necessary: you need to focus on the most important things first.
Implementing time management techniques, like the Pomodoro Technique or using procrastination apps, can also help you break down larger tasks into smaller achievable chunks,
The Impact of Procrastination in the Digital Age
Let’s be honest: we live in an age of instant gratification, laziness, and millions of distractions.
And even with your best effort, getting your work done can become extremely difficult when your surroundings don’t help.
I have noticed a worsening in my productivity during periods in which I use social media or the internet more, so it is good that you also recognize when it is becoming harmful.
To help you solve these problems, I have started using tools like time blocker apps, which help me stop even when I don’t want to.
This is not the case for everyone, but it is undeniable that the attention span in this digital age is increasingly lower.
A study found that our attention span has significantly decreased by almost 4 seconds in the last 15 years, so it shouldn’t surprise us that people procrastinate if we’ve reached this condition!
How to Conquer Procrastination: Strategies for Dealing with Different Types
If you’re procrastinating in your everyday life, I know you have negative emotions you want to free yourself from.
But if you’re here, it’s because you want to solve this problem (or help a person do it), so let’s start with the fundamental steps to achieve your goal.
Identifying your procrastination type
The first step, obviously, is to understand what type of procrastinator you are.
The descriptions in the previous paragraphs can help you analyze your behaviors and start creating a to-do list of measures you can implement immediately.
You may fall into more than one category, as procrastinators usually present a variety of thinking and behavioral styles at the same time.
By identifying your procrastination type, you can gain crucial insights into why you procrastinate and develop strategies to overcome it.
Seeking help or support
It can be challenging to tackle procrastination on your own.
That’s why it is essential to develop a system of external support you can draw upon, such as friends or family, counseling services, support groups and other forms of assistance.
For example, for those suffering from the Perfectionist type of procrastination, it may be beneficial to receive help with cognitive restructuring techniques or procrastination apps.
Setting achievable goals
Establishing SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) goals helps to keep people focused, motivated, and accountable.
Breaking down larger tasks into smaller, achievable goals makes tasks less intimidating and more manageable.
Setting achievable goals also increases productivity because when we complete small tasks, we are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment.
Implementing time management techniques
Time is the most important thing that we have.
Effective time management techniques are the key to managing any form of procrastination.
Adopting strategies such as breaking down tasks into smaller steps, developing a daily schedule, and utilizing productivity tools can be transformative in overcoming laziness and procrastination.
Here are some tips that I use every day:
- Break tasks into smaller steps. Working on mammoth projects can overwhelm and despair, but cutting them up into manageable parts will allow you to progress steadily and make more significant assignments more achievable.
- Utilize tools like procrastination apps. Blocking your time throughout the day allows you to stay focused, maximize efficiency, and complete essential activities.
Practicing self-compassion and rewarding yourself
When you put in the effort and finish a task, you should be proud of yourself and reward yourself.
It’s important to be kind and understanding to yourself despite your imperfections or failures.
It means you’re making more and more progress in solving your problem, so celebrate!
Positive procrastination affirmations are also very useful to keep you motivated and focused on your goals.
Self-compassion has been associated with increased productivity, such as taking action on essential but uncomfortable tasks, like studying for an exam or writing a complicated report.
Changing your mindset
A proactive mindset means that instead of seeing the negative aspects or feeling overwhelmed by the challenges ahead, you can focus on gaining valuable insights and taking control of how you tackle tasks.
Start focusing on the fantastic positive feeling of when you manage to do what you didn’t want or thought you would do so you can mentally relive those emotions.
People who procrastinate tend to underestimate this important aspect, focusing only on the negative aspects of having responsibilities and things to do
Now that you know there are different types of procrastinators and each one needs to adopt specific behaviors, know that you have already made progress by leaps and bounds.
Each type of procrastinator has different challenges and requires specific tactics to get out of the vicious cycle, from developing more self-compassion if you are a perfectionist to breaking down tasks into smaller chunks if you are an overdoer, there is something that will work best for each individual.
With practice and determination, everyone can overcome their procrastination and make room for productive behaviors – taking one step at a time towards successful goal achievement.