The six styles of procrastinator
We’ve all been there. You’ve got an important task you know is in your interests to get done but instead of cracking on with it, you find yourself sorting out the sock drawer instead. Procrastination can affect anyone, and it doesn’t mean you’re lazy. At the end of the day, it’s just a habit but it’s self-sabotaging and irrational so it’s a habit it pays to break. The key to that is understanding why you do it in the first place. What sort of procrastinator are you?
- The Perfectionist
The Perfectionist would rather not do a task at all than fail to reach the high standards they set for themselves. They may be scared to put pen to paper if they don’t feel they’re in the right headspace or if certain aspects aren’t in place. If this is you, it pays to remember that perfect conditions rarely exist and in order to progress, you have to let productivity override perfection.
- The Creative
The Creative sees the big picture, often impressing others with their inventive ideas and unique way of thinking. Because they think big, though, they find it hard to nut out enough detail to make those ideas a reality. If you’re a Creative, you’ll need to be extra strict about planning, writing down exactly how you will achieve your goal and sticking to small daily tasks that will get you there.
- The Rabbit in the Headlights
The Rabbit in the Headlights is simply overwhelmed by the sheer volume and/or complexity of the task at hand. It all just feels too daunting, so they’ll stick to their comfort zone by doing nothing, which only serves to make things feel more overwhelming. Sound familiar? If so, spend ten minutes breaking down your task into small, achievable goals and then focus on one at a time until you achieve your goal.
- The Adrenaline-Seeker
The Adrenaline-Seeker loves the drama of leaving things to the last-minute, often believing it’s the pressure that drives them to produce their finest work. In reality though, work done with time constraints isn’t going to be the same quality as work that has been carefully thought out and finessed with no time pressures, so if this is you don’t kid yourself. You know what you’ve got to do.
- The Yes-Person
The Yes-Person takes on more than they can realistically achieve and then finds it hard to prioritise. Because they have some many different projects on the go, they can’t focus properly on any of them and never manage to get much done. If you’re a Yes-Person, firstly don’t be afraid to say no if you’ve got a lot on. Then, write down everything in order of importance, allocating specific and strict timings to work on each.
- The Distractable
The Distractable finds it hard to focus on work for long enough to get much done, maybe because their workplace has lots of distractions, or simply because our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods of time. If you’re a Distractable, firstly remove as many workplace distractions as you feasibly can. Then, try working for just 20-30 minutes followed by a break – trust us, your productivity will surprise you.
Whatever type or procrastinator you are, don’t beat yourself up about it. Many highly-driven and successful people find themselves procrastinating from time to time too. Once you’ve identified what it is that sending you into a procrastination pattern, you’ll be able to beat it… and you’ll get that project in on time for once.