What are the 3 most common types of procrastination?
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At the very top level, the 3 most common types of procrastination can be bundled into these categories behavioral, emotional, and functional.
1) Behavioral procrastination occurs when one postpones an activity because they are distracted by something else. e.g. playing a computer game, or watching TV.
2) Emotional procrastination is when some aspect of an activity is the cause of the delay. e.g. not being sure about the best way to do something, or not being sure about whether the activity is important or not.
3) Functional procrastination occurs when an activity is delayed because of the way it is being done. This can be anything from not having the right equipment, to not having the right skills.
There are also three personality traits that go hand in hand with procrastination which are…
Procrastination personality traits
#1: Inability to Focus
Some people have difficulty focusing or having a short attention span. It is hard for them to stay focused on a task for any period of time due to distractions, disorder or lack of motivation.
Some people are perfectionists. They are never happy with anything less than perfection. In their minds, it is better to do nothing than to do something and make an error.
#3: Poor Time Management
Some people have poor time management skills. They never get started on a task, or they start the task, but they do not finish it because they do not have a structured plan.
17 examples of procrastination
1. Procrastinating on Tasks You Dislike
There are many things in life we do not like doing. These tasks can include cleaning, filing paperwork, washing or hoovering the house etc. When it comes to these tasks, people tend to put them off for as long as possible.
2. Procrastinating on Difficult Tasks
Not only do we put off tasks we do not like, but we also put off tasks that we find difficult. This tends to be tasks that are a little bit more challenging. For example, if you are a very creative type of person, you might find it difficult to write a factual report. Similarly, someone who is very logical might find it difficult to write a creative piece of literature. We naturally put off things we find difficult to do.
3. Procrastinating on Important Tasks
There are many important tasks that are worth doing but are just a little bit boring. Things like paying bills and watering the garden are things we tend to put off.
4. Procrastinating on Tasks that Require Perseverance
We also tend to put things off when we do not have the motivation to do them. For example, if you have a deadline coming up and you have been procrastinating on that task for a couple days, you are likely to put it off even longer.
5. Procrastinating on Self Care
It’s a fact that many of the things we tend to enjoy in life are not very good for us such as eating fatty foods, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, we know they are bad for us, and deep down we know we should get control over them, but procrastinate over doing so because we enjoy them too much.
6. Procrastinating to the Last Minute
Not only do we put off things for weeks or months, some people are extremely good at procrastinating to the last minute. For example, a student might stay up all night to finish their essay at the last minute. This is an example of extreme procrastination.
7. Procrastinating on Decisions
We often put off making decisions because we are afraid of the consequences. Making a decision can be difficult because we have to make sure it is the right one.
8. Procrastinating to Avoid Conflict
People also put off doing things because they are afraid of what might happen. For example, if you wanted to do something and knew it might cause conflict with other people, you might put it off because you don’t want to deal with the conflict.
9. Procrastinating by Making Excuses
There are many reasons for procrastinating, but one of the most common reasons is because we make excuses for why we need to put something off. For example, we might say “I don’t have time to do it right now” or “I will do it tomorrow”, this is one of the most common ways people procrastinate.
10. Procrastinating on Choosing One Option
When it comes to making a decision, we often find it difficult to choose one thing. When you are at the grocery store and you see a number of different items you like, you can easily get stuck because you cannot decide which is the best option out of all of them.
11. Procrastinating on Small Tasks
Another thing you might find yourself doing is putting off the smaller tasks. This could be things like returning phone calls or replying to emails.
12. Procrastinating by cutting corners
Some people procrastinate by deliberately taking shortcuts in order to save time. For example, someone who is writing an essay might not spend time researching the topic. They might also fail to put a lot of effort into the actual writing process.
13. Procrastinating out of Fear of Failure
Another reason people put things off is because they are afraid of failure. They might be afraid that once they start doing things, they might not be able to complete them.
14. Procrastinating by Writing Down a List of All the Things you Need to Do
Some people will write down a list of all the things they need to do, but they will never get around to doing them. This is an example of procrastination through avoidance.
15. Procrastinating in Favor of Fun Activities
Another thing you might do is put off tasks in favor of other things that are fun. This can be something like watching TV, playing video games and surfing the internet.
16. Procrastinating by Doing Other Tasks
Instead of doing the task you need to do, you might find yourself doing other simpler and more enjoyable tasks first.
17. Procrastinating by Talking About How You Will Get Things Done
Another thing you might do is procrastinate by talking about how you will do things. For example, you might say “I will do it tomorrow”, or “I will go to the gym tonight”, but you do neither of these things.
As well as the general examples of procrastination listed above there are also specific environment where procrastination can be particularly damaging which we will look at now.
Procrastination in the Workplace
Procrastination in the workplace can be a major problem, as it can lead to decreased productivity and missed deadlines. In some cases, it can even lead to job loss. To avoid these negative consequences, it is important to be aware of the causes of procrastination and to have strategies for dealing with it. Some of the most common causes of procrastination in the workplace include perfectionism, fear of failure, fear of success, and lack of motivation. To overcome these obstacles, it is important to set realistic goals, break tasks down into smaller steps.
Procrastination in School
Procrastination in school can be a huge problem. It can lead to poor grades, missed assignments, and even expulsion. Students who procrastinate often do so because they find school work to be boring or difficult. They may also be perfectionists who feel they can never do enough to get good grades. Whatever the reason, procrastination can have serious consequences.
Procrastination in the Home
Procrastination in the home can be a huge problem. It can lead to missed deadlines, piles of laundry, and a cluttered house. It can be difficult to get started on a project, but once you do, it’s usually easy to keep going. The key is to start small and break the project down into manageable tasks.
Procrastination in Relationships
Procrastination is a common problem in relationships. It can lead to tension and conflict as one person tries to get the other to do what they want, and can also lead to resentment if one person feels like they are always doing all the work. It’s important to be honest with each other about how you feel and to work together to find a way to overcome procrastination. Sometimes it can help to set deadlines or to establish specific roles for each person in the relationship.
How Can I Overcome Procrastination?
Here are seven strategies that can be helpful for overcoming procrastination:
1. Have a Plan
The more prepared you are for a task, the more likely you will be to succeed. Therefore, having a plan for your task, and preparing for your task, are both strategies that can help you overcome procrastination, but ensure you actually carry out your plan on time and follow the plan as it was intended.
2. Break Up the Task
One way to overcome procrastination is to break down a large task into smaller, more manageable pieces. For example, you might decide to clean your house one room at a time, or write one chapter of a book you are producing.
3. Tackle the Task You Fear Most First
Another great strategy for overcoming procrastination is to tackle the task you are least looking forward to first, as this is the one you are most likely to procrastinate over, so once it’s done you will feel a sense of accomplishment and you will be more motivated to do the rest of your tasks as you have already completed the hardest one.
4. Set a Deadline
Another great way to overcome procrastination is to set a deadline. This is a great strategy to use when you are working on a project with others, because it helps keep you accountable.
5. Reward Yourself
Another strategy that can be helpful for overcoming procrastination is to reward yourself for every step you take. For example, if you are working on a project, you can give yourself a reward every time you complete a smaller step.
6. Focus on the Task at Hand
It can help to avoid distractions such as the internet, TV, or other people. It may be helpful to tell other people that you are not available to talk right now and to decline invitations to other activities
7. Ask for Help
If all else fails, it can be helpful to seek the help of a trusted friend or professional.
While procrastination can be a minor inconvenience, it can also lead to more serious problems. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of procrastination and to take steps to address it.
While its true that overcoming procrastination can be a difficult thing to do, and can take a lot of hard work and determination, using the strategies above can set you on the right track to beating it.