What’s Your Procrastination Style?

You have a dream and you even have a plan on how to achieve it, but you’re not making any progress.  So what’s in your way? If you are feeling frozen, spend some time considering what’s behind your procrastination and it may help you get moving.  In Dr. Linda Sapadin’s book, It’s About Time!: The Six Styles of Procrastination and How to Overcome Them, she discusses procrastinator types.  The following is a quick overview:

  1.  The perfectionist – They don’t finish projects because they need to be perfect and if it’s not done than it can’t be imperfect.
  2. The Dreamer – It can be fun to dream about doing something, but actually having to do the work and focus on details is another story.
  3. The Worrier –  This is living with the cup half empty.  Worriers fear change, they want to know the future.  What if the cup ends up empty?
  4. The Defier –  Does resistance to authority keep you from moving forward?  Do you resent being told what to do?  Many high school students who want to go away to school procrastinate filling out their college applications because their parents told them ‘to get it done’.
  5. The Crisis-Maker – Some people need to feel backed up against a deadline to get moving.  They feel most productive and alive when working in the overload mode.
  6. The Overdoer – I think a better name for this type of procrastinator is the Over-Giver.  It’s the person on every committee, the one always taking on the extra project.  An Over-Giver always has more to do than she has time for.  Did you notice I said “she”?  I think there are cultural messages that have created the Over-Giver.

Knowing your procrastination style will help you uncover the root of the problem and change your behavior.  So what type of procrastinator are you?

Click here to complete a short survey on your procrastination style.


17 responses to “What’s Your Procrastination Style?

  1. There is one last type of procrastinator – a combination of several others! For me, I have a project that I’m procrastinating on because I want to devote my attention to it and make it perfect. There is another, involving clearing my house, selling it, and moving away, that is definitely in the realm of the Dreamer. The Worrier? Anything to do with my daughter and getting her moving in life. The Defier – that goes to everything I hate doing that I have to do – taxes, bills, routine maintenance. It’s why I’m a year behind on filing my taxes. Then I experience the Crisis-Maker when the deadlines loom, and I do get the things done. But at heart I am definitely the Over-Giver, at least currently. However, the Over-Giver is not always helping others, ‘she’ is often avoiding her own personal goals by deluding herself that she has to help everyone else first, that her needs and desires are a lower priority. And what does THAT say about our cultural messages?

    I think the many aspects of procrastination and the conflicting pressures cause a murkiness to life that is sometimes difficult to wade through. What is needed is clarity of thought – simple, not easy. As one of my teachers says, it is a CHOICE to be confused…

    Thanks for the insights!

    • I agree with you Linda, I think many people procrastinate on different things for different underlying reasons. I too consider myself to have a combination of procrastination styles. I love the quote “It’s a choice to be confused”.

  2. I have the opposite problem. I tend to get ready for something and then just do it. Sometimes this is an advantage. Sometimes not. When I hate it is when I see my rushing resulted in a typo. Any typos in this? (-:


    • Carolyn,
      Somehow, aside from typos, it doesn’t sound like to much of a problem. You can probably teach us all a few things about managing one’s life.

  3. Nope, no typos Carolyn lol.
    I’m a combination procrastinator too hence my throwing myself into loads of blog challenges to feed my crisis-making necessities.
    errr.just being here is procrastinating…

    • Thanks for stopping….even if it is a little procrastination. I find crisis-making arise for me when I have something to do that I don’t want to do.

  4. This was very insightful! I tend to give to everyone else first and then what’s left is mine. By then I’m tired!

    But for the last 2 months I have been giving myself 2 hrs a day first for freelance writing and making an income and the family is learning to work around that a bit. But after 30 years, it’s been a transition – mostly for me.


  5. I’m both the Crisis-Maker and the Over-doer! In school I always did thing ahead of scheduled. But my years as a newspaper reporter taught me to work under a tight deadline and now I need that push.

  6. I’m probably a combination of #2 & #6. Interesting to think about…

    • I think we are all a combination. I think we have different procrastination styles depending on what we are avoiding. I’m about to get an extension on my taxes. When it comes to things I don’t like to do, it’s much easier to do it when I’m faced with a deadline.

  7. Mary Cronk Farrell

    Hi Mary Jo,
    I have always been a procrastinator, but not so much anymore after I found the underlying reason for my procrastination. I didn’t take the survey because mine doesn’t really fit into the categories, although I guess some people might classify it in the perfectionist category.
    I procrastinate because of fear. But it’s not simply fear of not doing something perfectly. I know I won’t do anything perfectly. It’s fear that I won’t be good enough to perform up to my expectations. Even if my expectations are just to write a really sh#$@#ty first draft. I have a dream, and I’m afraid that I don’t have what it takes to make the dream come true. I fear that if I can’t make my dream come true, then I’ll be unhappy. As if I’m not totally unhappy as I procrastinate. 🙂

  8. I am the PERFECTIONIST DREAMER who WORRIES about failing and succeeding so i just become frozen! UGH!

  9. I thought I was the Perfectonist that turned into the Crisis -Maker… but Linda said it best for me!!

  10. Pingback: Dreadful Procrastination…HELP!!! | Sparker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s