If you’re reading this to put off doing something else you should be doing, then…perfect! You’re part of a popular club called procrastinators. (I’m a certified member, too, so welcome!)
According to Psychology Today, procrastination is a battle with “self-control and our inability to predict how we’ll feel tomorrow.” Dr. Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University, author of “Still Procrastinating? The No-Regrets Guide to Getting It Done,” conducted a number of studies to help show people the reasons behind why we decide to stall instead of taking action. His conclusions narrowed down procrastinators into three main categories, and each group’s motivations sound fascinating.
But before you dig into the reasons behind your stalling tactics, you’ll need to figure out what kind of procrastinator you are. Time tracker OfficeTime took Ferrari’s research and condensed it into an easy-t0-use flowchart. Once you figure out which category you fall into, you can start to understand your choices and make positive changes!
Now that you have a title, what does it mean?
The “Loves Pressure” Procrastinator
Hello “Thrill Seeker!” According to Ferrari’s research, some people simply love the thrill of having a time crunch. The procrastinators who say they work best under pressure waste time because they love the rush that comes from having a deadline loom overhead.
Ferrari offers a different way to get that rush, though. Instead of pushing things until the last minute, he suggests challenging ourselves to get tasks done early. Once the task gets finished? Make sure to celebrate! It does sound like a better way to get excited about completing a to-do list, doesn’t it?
The “Perfectionist” Procrastinator
According the flowchart, the perfectionist suffers from indecision. Why? They’re afraid of making the wrong choice or doing the wrong thing. Their solution? Just put things off. Unfortunately, the right choice can also cause stress for perfectionists. Huh? According to Ferrari, people’s fear of doing well and having others set ever higher expectations can put the brakes on finishing a task. The bottom line? Perfectionist procrastinators don’t want to take on the responsibility or accountability of making a choice or completing something important. So they use the “perfectionist” label.
The “Avoider” Procrastinator
All procrastination is all about avoidance. However, this group of people specifically avoids decisions or action because they are scared to death of how they’ll feel once the job is done. It’s similar to being a perfectionist, yet slightly different.
“Many things that we tell ourselves to put off doing sometimes are really not connected with the task,” Ferrari told Lifehacker. “Instead, they are related to the feelings we have about doing the task or about the outcome if we finish the task. Keep a journal—write down your thoughts and then challenge them. What is the worst that could happen if you finish a certain task? It’s adaptive and constructive for you to know your strengths and weaknesses. If you avoid making decisions and knowing who you are, you cannot live your life to the fullest.”
You’ll see in the flowchart above suggestions and ideas on how to overcome these time-wasting habits. So what are you waiting for? Figure it out and get it done!