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5 Types of Uncommon Procrastinators

Tips on how to address each unique form of procrastination

By Ian FanPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
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5 Types of Uncommon Procrastinators
Photo by Suganth on Unsplash

Better late than never.

The word “late” inspires me more than “never”. Somehow or rather, things are still done but later.

Every time when there’s procrastination, it is due to different reasons and each reason is caused by a type of procrastinator.

Here are the five unassuming characters of procrastination. You would not normally associate procrastination with these characters.

1. The Perfectionist

Often, we do not associate a perfectionist with procrastination. The perfectionist invests time and effort to achieve perfection.

From the perfectionist’s point of view, the perfectionist is moving positively towards the goal. For everyone else, the time is lost, delayed, and they have to wait for the “perfect” work.

I have a colleague who’s a self-claimed perfectionist. Often, she’s too scared to show any imperfection in her work. Because of this, the team frequently fail to complete projects on time, as she takes extra time to perfectly write up a report or presentation.

Re-clarifying your goals help to lessen the procrastination in the perfectionist you.

Ask yourself what you really want to achieve:

What steps do you need to take?

Is what you’re currently doing reflecting what you want?

What do you need to change?

Instead of letting your obsession with details take up all your time, be clear about the purpose of your tasks. Take time to write down the tasks, prioritize the tasks, and scribble out the non-important tasks.

Then, assign a time limit to each prioritized task. This will force you to stay focused and finish your project within the time frame.

2. The Dreamer

Like a scene in a Japanese anime playing before me; I had a friend who liked to stare out through the window in class. Instead of working on his assignment, he’d stay in a dream-like state.

Dreaming gives dreamers a false sense of achievement. In their minds, they envision big, ambitious plans. That way, they don’t have to work for real or deal with any negativity or stress. Unfortunately, the plans never become a reality.

Following the SMART framework helps to stop yourself from being carried away by your endless imagination. Set specific (and achievable) goals and break down the plan into small tasks so that you can take action right away.

To stop yourself from procrastinating further, do the difficult tasks first. If you leave your difficult tasks to later, you’re much more likely to put it off because you’re tired and lack motivation.

I’m a morning person and the beginning of the day is when my brain is most productive. I use this window of time to get the more difficult stuff done.

3. The Avoider

There are times I found myself avoiding a given task out of fear, hence I procrastinated as much as possible. I didn’t think I could manage the task, hence the worrier in me gave justification to procrastinate it.

The avoiders would rather put off work than being judged by others when they end up making mistakes. They are self-sabotaging themselves by believing that “by doing nothing, bad things won’t happen.”

Writing things down is powerful and psychologically increases your need to get things done. To-do and not-to-do lists help.

Each day, make a habit of creating a list of the tasks you know you’ll try and avoid. Try to break down the tasks into smaller sub-tasks.

Make realistic calculations. Then you’ll understand how much time and energy is really needed for a given task.

By doing these, it brings these “difficult” tasks to your mind’s attention instead of keeping them locked away somewhere in your avoidance mode.

Think of how satisfying and productive it feels to finally cross an “avoided” task. This will give you a sense of achievement, and helps you build momentum for a productive day ahead.

4. The Crisis-Maker

Back in college, I’ve had friends who’d procrastinate until the deadlines of the projects. Also known as the Daredevils, they believed that deadlines motivated them to do better.

Instead of following a schedule to complete their work — they prefer to do other things and procrastinate until the deadline. Being forced to rush the work in the hopes of performing better was just an illusion. It actually left them no room to review the work to make it better afterward.

Instead of pushing to one, final deadline, create a timeline with smaller deadlines.

Use a timer and divide your complex work into small manageable sessions. In between the small sessions, give yourself a break to recover.

While giving your brain a regular break can highly boost your performance by recharging your brain’s energy; having completed the tasks earlier allows you to have plenty of time to go through your work again to make it even better.

5. The Busy Procrastinator

The irony is that there are busy procrastinators. This type of procrastinators is the fussy one.

They have trouble prioritizing tasks because they either have too many of them or refuse to work on what they see as unworthy of their effort. They don’t know how to choose the task that's best for them and simply postpone making any decisions.

If you identify as a busy procrastinator, you might want to break tasks into bite-sized pieces.

You have to get your priorities straight. Important tasks should take priority over urgent ones because “urgent” doesn’t always mean important. You only have so much time and energy, and you don’t want to waste that on things that don’t matter.

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About the Creator

Ian Fan

Going by the handles @foodyfans and @ipropfans, Ian shares about real estate, investing, finance, travel, food, and personal growth.

Follow Ian Fan on YouTube, Instagram (food), Instagram (property), X, Facebook, Blog, and Medium.

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