Everyone procrastinates. Yes, successful people too. But this doesn’t mean we are no different. Even though all of us like to sabotage ourselves, everyone has their own way to prevent the pain coming from taking action. This is why there are different types of procrastinators. And in this article, I will talk about them. I will help you to understand what type of procrastinator you are. I also will give solutions for each type and explain the solution with examples. Here we go.
Let’s agree on something in the beginning. Procrastinators are made, not born. So it is definitely possible to overcome procrastination and reach success. But before jumping to the “how to overcome procrastination” part, first, you should understand what type of procrastinator you are.
Let’s agree on one more thing. Even though sometimes it looks okay, procrastination is not your friend. Well, unless you don’t want to accomplish your goals and reach success. Which is totally okay! Not a topic we are going to discuss in this article though.
Anyway, what was I saying before I jumped into something else and procrastinated to talk about what matters for this article? Hah! Procrastination is not your friend. Because it destroys your productivity, efficiency, motivation, focus… It destroys teamwork in every possible place you can imagine. Workplace, home, relationships… PROCRASTINATION IS YOUR ENEMY.
You need to have an endless war with it. And your success in this challenge mostly depends on the information that you have about the enemy. This is why it is quite important to know which type of procrastinator you are. Once you figure this out then you know the plan of your enemy. This means you can fight with procrastination to its core and beat it every day.
5 Most Common Types of Procrastinators
Dr. Josef Ferrari, associate professor of psychology at the DePaul University in Chicago, says that there is more than one type of procrastinator. And I agree with him. Because I personally have more than 10 excuses to procrastinate things. I am not the only one who is the victim of procrastination for sure. As a fact, 20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. So, for most of us, procrastination is a lifestyle.
There are 5 most common types of procrastinators. Well, actually it is more than 5. Because people are giving different names for the same type of procrastinator. For example, in some sources, you see The Worrier as The Avoider or The Busy as The Overdoer. And it is confusing. This is why I decided to combine related ones and come up with an ultimate list for procrastinator types. And now, it is time to reveal that secret ultimate perfect list.
But before I dive into the details of procrastinators types, I would like to add a personal note:
After I read common types of procrastinators from dozens of different sources, I saw a part of myself in nearly every type. If this is the situation for you too, I suggest you read this article one more time. And then one more time. And one more… Until you narrow down your type to one. Thus, you can have the war in one front.
Do you procrastinate tasks because you think you won’t be able to accomplish them? Do you feel anxious every time you face a difficult situation? Is the fear of failure your best friend?
Congrats, you are the first types of procrastinators: The Worrier.
Signs of The Worriers
- They postpone undesirable tasks indefinitely.
- They make sure there won’t be a time-space for the tasks that make them uncomfortable.
- They create excuses to not talk about the job they are avoiding.
- They don’t like to be judged by others. So, they also run away from people who question their way of working, thinking.
- They see difficult tasks as a bulk. However, they plan detailed to-do lists for the tasks that make them comfy.
Solution For The Worriers
- Remind yourself that if you keep postponing that important task, you’ll fail anyway. So, there is no need to be afraid of failure.
- Break down important tasks into small ones in order to have small wins during the process. Thus, a huge task will seem more possible to accomplish with each step.
- Find an accountability partner that will encourage you.
- Track your progress. See your development. See there is nothing to worry about. Or see if there is something to worry about. Either way, push yourself to take action.
Example For The Worriers
Let’s say you have to write a thesis about procrastination.
In that thesis, you need to touch on every detail of procrastination and explain them in detail. As you can understand from our contents, procrastination is a huge topic to talk about. Approximately, you will need to write around 20.000 words.
Wow, that’s huge. So, probably you won’t start at all. Trust me, I was in your shoes when we first started to think about writing articles for procrastination.
At this point, to avoid procrastination, what you should do is break down this task into smaller sub-tasks. Here is how your plan should look like.
- Research for procrastination to understand what you are going to write for.
- Determine the headlines.
- Combine similar topics.
- Create an outline.
- Calculate how much time you can spare for this specific task by considering your priorities.
- Prepare your schedule.
- Share the plan with your accountability partner.
- Make necessary edits on the plan before giving a start.
- Start writing.
- Don’t forget to follow your schedule. Don’t forget to track your progress.
Are you an incorrigible procrastinator too? Well, not anymore. Because I am sure you’ve read our articles that will help you to stop procrastinating. Didn’t you read our articles yet? Shame on you. But it is okay. You can check them from the links below:
As you can guess from their name, perfectionists are the ones who want to see every little detail in a perfect shape. This types of procrastinators are the ones who pay too much attention to the minor details. What does this mean? Simply put, perfectionists don’t count themselves as successful unless everything is perfect. Well, at least this is what they see in their dream worlds.
But we all know that you can’t make everything perfect in the real world. And this is exactly what pushes perfectionists to procrastinate on everything. Since deep inside they know they can’t do the task extremely well, they rather postpone taking action.
Signs of the Perfectionists
- They think that there is no point to start unless they are sure they can get things done perfectly.
- They create excuses to wait for the right circumstances. But the right circumstances never come and they keep procrastinating.
- Even though they start to task, they get lost in the details. Because they always strive for the best and criticize their own work.
- Since they focus on the details so deeply, they miss the big picture and procrastinate on important work. Thus, they usually miss the opportunities that lay ahead of them.
Solution For Perfectionists
- Remind yourself that perfect conditions rarely exist in this chaotic world. It is meaningless to wait for the right circumstances. Give it a start.
- Making perfect plans in your head is not a solution. Start the journey to learn on the road. If you need some help, Read Richard Branson’s autobiography and understand how to say “yes”, then learn how to do it later.
- Determine the purpose of your tasks. Set a time limit for each. Make it mandatory to finish tasks at the time by sharing deadlines with people.
- Track your progress to see the improvement. But prepare an executive report to not fall into the trap of the details.
Example For Perfectionists
Let’s say you need to prepare a report to showcase the progress of your team to your CEO. As a perfectionist, you’ll want to wait for the right time so you get meaningful data to create a detailed report. But trust me, that “right time” will never come.
Instead, follow these steps:
- Put a specific time period to wait for the data. For example 2 weeks. Share this information with your CEO. And tell him/her the specific date that you are going to share the report.
- Prepare yourself a draft report on day one to see the improvement day by day.
- Add daily notes about the progress of your team into your presentation/email.
- After 2 weeks, take your data and start to prepare your report. Since you are going to share this report with your CEO, don’t dive into details.
- Share the report.
This type of procrastinators usually have high standards. But their standards are nothing related with perfectionism. They believe their success depends on the number of tasks they get done. So yes, they commit to doing too many tasks.
Seems like there is nothing wrong about it, right? But what about the anxiety surrounds them because of the dozens of tasks at their plate? The result? Procrastination. Especially on important tasks.
So yes, Even though they seem like getting things done, since they procrastinate on what matters, they are not productive at all.
Signs of The Busy Procrastinator
- “I’m so busy” is their best friend as an excuse. They use it to avoid the sense of urgency of important tasks.
- They always have trouble prioritizing their tasks. Because they prioritize urgent but not important tasks to execute more.
- Since they have so many things on their plates, they just can’t figure out where to start.
Solution For The Busy Procrastinator
- Remind yourself of the ultimate goal for the task at hand.
- Determine your priorities and write them down somewhere in front of your eyes.
- Ask yourself what you are avoiding, continuously.
Example For The Busy Procrastinator
Let’s say you need to fix a problem that causes you to lose sales. Meanwhile, one of your colleagues is asking you to have a meeting for a marketing report. As a busy procrastinator, probably you’ll go after your colleagues request since it is easy to accomplish.
Instead follow these steps:
- Compare the benefits of accomplishing two tasks according to company profit.
- Check the ultimate goals of the company.
- Since the sales will be the first priority for your company, go after it.
4-The Crisis Hero
This is one of the most common types of procrastinators. You can see them everywhere. They are known as the last minute procrastinator, or the crisis maker as well. They believe they do better under pressure. Thus, they procrastinate everything until the last minute.
Actually, there is a logic behind this behaviour. Since they do pretty well even though they wait until the last minute, they think that there is no need to work on something for a long time.
Signs Of The Crisis Hero
- They believe that in order to be motivated to do a task, they need stress or pressure. Because in such a situation they perform at their best.
- They always procrastinate to get started with an important task until the last minute.
- You can see a bunch of important tasks that don’t have a deadline on their schedule. Even though they know that the task will make a huge impact in the long run, they prefer to postpone it. Because there is no deadline in the end.
- They are overconfident about the time. They always think that a task isn’t going to take too much time.
Solution For The Crisis Hero
- Sit down and set a start date for your tasks. Also, set a deadline. And share this plan with your accountability partner.
- Set alerts that will remind you of the deadlines of your tasks. Thus, you can control your perspective about the time.
- Track your progress to see how far you come. Put it somewhere you can see. This will cause a sense of urgency and you will push yourself to take action.
Example For The Crisis Hero
Let’s say you are working for a digital marketing agency as a digital marketing consultant. You need to prepare a presentation for a client that shows their progress at the end of each quarter. Probably you’ll wait until the last week. Just to feel the pressure so you can work better.
Instead follow these steps:
- Start from day one by preparing a daily performance report. Prepare a weekly and monthly report too.
- Check daily reports at the end of the day and take notes. Repeat this for weekly and monthly reports too.
- Include daily notes into weekly notes and weekly notes into monthly notes.
- Start to make final edits at the last week of the quarter.
Big ideas but do very little about them. Does that sound familiar? Then you are the fifth type of procrastinator: The Dreamer.
They like to make ideal plans but procrastinate a lot on taking actual action. Because the idea of working is boring and even worse frustrating for them. They’d rather be doing anything (especially planning) except that one important task.
Signs Of The Dreamers
- They don’t do what they are supposed to do until they feel like doing it. As you can guess, yes, they procrastinate all the time.
- They shoot for the stars but never willing to hoop into a spaceship. They prefer to stay grounded and enjoy the blue planet.
- They are not patient when it comes to boring tasks. They can’t bear talking about them and they find a way to change the topic.
Solution For The Dreamers
- Remind yourself that dreams never come true if you are not willing to put effort into them.
- Set up specific, achievable goals to encourage yourself to take action.
- Use good procrastination. When you lose your focus on a big task, start another item on your to-do list. Then get back to your actual work.
- Have a bounty system for yourself.
- Take regular breaks to feel alive.
Example For The Dreamers
Let’s say you want to write a blog in your free times. Because you’ve always dreamed about it. You want to create something from the scratch. And who knows, maybe someday you might be an influencer! Probably you are always dreaming about this, making detailed plans in your head. But either never intend to take action or take very very small actions.
Instead, follow these steps:
- Set a clear goal. Decide where you want to be on your blog one month from now. Then break this goal down into smaller tasks. Let’s say you want to publish 5 articles in one month. Your plan should look like this.
- Make research to determine the topics you want to write about.
- Determine the approximate word count you’ll need to write.
- Set a clear time period for writing according to your writing speed.
- Start writing.
How to Stop Procrastination?
So, until now I talked about the types of procrastinators. And I think you figured out what type of procrastinator you are. Great.
But how to stop procrastination?
Even though you are the one who is responsible for understanding what works for you, I have some simple tips that can help you to procrastinate important to-do’s. Here is the shortlist:
- Move with little steps.
- Create a timeline and put deadlines.
- Design your workspace.
- Change your environment.
- Take your break.
- Talk about your goals with others.
- Get rid of distractions.
For more details about the list I mentioned above, check out this link.
That was all. In this article, I’ve tried to explain types of procrastinators and shared some solutions to overcome them with an example for each.
If you have any other suggestions to overcome procrastination, just share with us your experiences to support others in this adventure! And don’t forget to share your comments about this article below!