Ahhh, procrastination, the fifteen-letter word we all do but seriously can't stand. While procrastination can feel like one big ball of yuck-ness, it is usually split into four categories.
- 'Anything but'
- 'Plenty of time'
Want to know what type you are? Take the short quiz below to find out.
When procrastinating on a task, your reason for putting it off for so long usually is…
- A) You want it to be perfect, so instead of starting the task, you think of all the ways you could make it great.
- B) You think you have plenty of time to achieve a task, so you don't start until a little bit too close to the deadline and rush the job.
- C) You would rather do literally anything else other than the task you have to do.
- D) You feel overwhelmed with beginning, and the task feels too big to achieve, so you keep putting it off and off.
If you answered…
A- You're the 'perfectionist' procrastinator
B- You're the 'plenty of time' procrastinator
C- You're the 'anything but' procrastinator
D- You're the 'anxious' procrastinator
One: The anxious procrastinator
Sometimes when you feel anxious about doing something, you keep putting it off and off and off until it becomes uncomfortable to think about.
Some thoughts and feelings you can have while being an anxious procrastinator is fear of failure, fear of negative feedback, fear of the outcome, and constantly thinking about the task.
Try this: Breakdown your task into smaller, actionable steps. You can do this by firstly writing down the overall goal. Then you are going to break that down into sub-goals. The sub-goals are all the little things you can do that will contribute towards you achieving your big goal. From that list of sub-goals, write down what steps you will have to take to complete it.
Two: The 'anything but' procrastinator
Are you the type of procrastinator that will do anything other than the task you need to achieve? That messy drawer that you've kept in the same state for five years suddenly needs cleaning, that book you've meant to read for months has become your number one priority and let's not forget the wardrobe cleanout that you spontaneously do!
Being the 'anything but' procrastinator can be turned into a positive.
Try this: Instead of attempting to do the one thing on your to-do list that gives you the most dread, start from the easiest thing on your list and work your way up. Then once you have achieved everything else, you can get started on the only task you have left.
Three: The 'plenty of time' procrastinator
Do you ever have a far-off deadline and assume you have 'plenty of time' to get it done? Then you might be the 'plenty of time' procrastinator. You don't stress about what needs to be done because the deadline is so far in the future, but then it quickly catches up to you, and you have less than a week to get it done. This often results in you rushing the job or completely missing the deadline.
Try this: Set your own deadlines. Have a task you need to complete in three months at work? Move the deadline up by two weeks in your own calendar to ensure you get it completed. This will help you stay on track, achieve the goal, and impress whoever set you the deadline.
Four: The perfectionist procrastinator
Do you tie your worth into your work? Set unrealistic expectations for your goal and overwhelm yourself with self-inflicted pressure? Do you also say yes to many things and overwhelm yourself with how many tasks you need to do? Then you are certainly the perfectionist procrastinator. But do not fear! There are methods you can use to beat it.
Try this: Focus on progress, not perfection. It is far better to start a project than sit and think about making it perfect. Have you already overcommitted to too many projects? Try time blocking. Time blocking allows you to clearly see your day, prioritise what needs to be done and keep you on schedule.