Which kind of procrastinator are you?
If you stumbled upon this blog by Googling “procrastination” while avoiding doing a very important task, congratulations! You don’t win a medal, but we’ll help you get the job done. Finally.
Procrastination is when we intentionally and habitually put off something that should be done – even though we know delaying it can only lead to negative outcomes. And what reward do we get for all that stalling? Self-blame, low self-esteem, increased stress and anxiety that can lead to health problems, and lower pay.
Wait, back up – less pay? Yep, studies have shown that high procrastination in the workplace is linked to lower salaries, shorter terms of employment and an increased chance of unemployment. And just to rub it in, the job you do have is likely to be less rewarding. Ouch.
To help you stop dilly-dallying, we’ve lined up five of the most common procrastinator ‘types’ so you can find which one you are and finally fix it.
1. The Ostrich
Ignores tasks until they get out of hand because they want to do other things instead.
Solution: Sticking your head in the sand isn’t going to make that task go away. Try setting up a ‘work-reward’ system. Break your task up into increments and plan breaks or rewards as you complete each one. Need to write a report but can’t stop thinking about snacks? Reward yourself with one of Dan Churchill’s Double Chocolate Brownies with Caramel Sauce when you reach 50 percent, then power through the other half. Rather watch Netflix than work out? Split your exercise into sets, and reward yourself with a quick five-minute burst of your favorite show in between.
2. The Showman
Does a million unimportant, easy tasks to make themselves seem productive rather than the one IMPORTANT thing they NEED to do.
Solution: Your performance isn’t convincing anyone – yourself included. This isn’t like a workout where you need to warm up first, so arrange your tasks by priority and deadline, giving you a clear picture of what’s important and why. Then get your head around a task by breaking it up into manageable bits. Remember, your brain is not permanently set to ‘procrastinate’ mode – it can be retrained.
3. The Strategist
Wastes time time planning instead of DOING.
Solution: A list can be helpful, but an overwhelming list is just begging to remain unfinished. If your problem is over-thinking, obsessing and losing the will to do it, cut to the chase: just decide to start, and get moving. Don’t worry about planning and perfect organization – whatever you need to get done, start it NOW and let the momentum pick up as you go.
Zocchi's #1 tip for going from "I'll do it someday..." to "I smashed that."
4. The Delegator
“Can't someone else do it?”
Solution: Sound familiar? To change your behavior, you’ll have to change your thinking. If you’re dumping this task on someone else because you can’t be bothered, you need to be more considerate of other people’s time. If you’re offloading because you don’t think you’re smart or capable enough, stop being so hard on yourself. Give it a go. Take control. You’ll be better for it.
5. The Fool(ing themselves)
Makes to-do lists of things they've already done, just so they can tick them off.
Solution: Pretty much the dictionary definition of going nowhere, fast. You don’t need us to tell you what you’re doing wrong here. Just get it done, already!
Did you know you can get Centr at work? We'll help you and your colleagues (yep, even your boss) bust out of procrastination mode to get more done and feel better day in, day out. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about our workplace wellness program.
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