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Dear Poll: What Kind Of Procrastinator Are You?

The list below, summarized by Bill Heavy, describes the six types of procrastinators Dr. Sapadin identifies in her book ‘Its about Time! The 6 Styles of Procrastination and How to Overcome Them’.


These procrastinators desperately want life to be easy and free from pain. They retreat from the real world and live in their heads, where everything is vague, nonthreatening and cozy. They cherish the notion that they’re special, that they don’t have to play by the rules.


The worrier prizes security above all else and pays a steep price for it. He has a narrow comfort zone and paralyzes himself with anxiety when faced by risk or change. He suffers what Sapadin calls "anticipatory anxiety" and endless stream of "what ifs" about hypothetical situations, all with negative consequences.


This class of procrastinators resents authority but expresses the rebellion covertly. Ask a defier to perform a task and he’s likely to say, "sure, I’ll do that". Then he "forgets" what he promised, or delivers work that’s half-done, late or both. In relationships defiers put off meeting their partners’ needs in much the same way. This withholding stratagem gives them a sense of power, but their co-workers and lovers feel manipulated, used and betrayed.


Most of us do our best work under some kind of time constraint. A crisis-maker goes out of the way to create drama, going from one behavioral extreme or the other. He underreacts to a situation and then overreacts with a big shot of intense work to meet the deadline.


Basically, a perfectionist's self-esteem is on the line every time they do anything. Often they are idealists who are unrealistic in their use of time and energy. "That’s because perfectionists see everything in all-or-nothing terms," says Sapadin. "If the task they’re working on is a failure, it stands to reason that they’re failures too." Deep down, the perfectionist fears nothing so much as not measuring up.


Like the perfectionist, the overdoer doesn’t seem like a procrastinator because he’s always busy. He’s a people pleaser, the guy who never says no to taking on more work. In his struggle to do it all and feel self-reliant, he has no balance of work and downtime, drudgery and fun. The personal and the professional. He also disappoints the people he wants so desperately to please because he has taken on more than he can deliver.

For each type, Dr. Sapadin offers suggestions for change and action. I've given the book to several friends, and it's a great starting point if you're ready to move past this habit.

Where there is the possibility of control in our lives, it's very healing to grab it and run with it. So, which type of procrastinator sounds like you?


Join The Conversation
Luxury-Diva Luxury-Diva 10 years
I'm a Perfectionist and I hate it!!
ebbiebright ebbiebright 10 years
i'm definitely a worrier too. i'm always so worried that i won't do a good job and put it off and then wind up doing a bad job anyway.
designergirl designergirl 10 years
I'm a perfectionist/ worrier- I worry so much that I will fail at the coming task that I can paralyze myself and am unable to start it. Lucky me-
miss-britt miss-britt 10 years
I've been trying to read this but i keep procrastinating?!?! and i'm not joking, i'll get around to it. ****"Everything in life is only for now."-Avenue Q****
partysugar partysugar 10 years
Procrastination makes me super nervous. I like to get things done as soon as possible, if I put something off the nerves just build and build and build and I go crazy.
martini-queenie martini-queenie 10 years
Crisis-maker, in a big way. When I try to make myself work ahead of time it comes out awful and al has to be redone anyway.
nicachica nicachica 10 years
thanks Dear! :) i have to say that i don't feel like i'm fully one or the other although if i had to pick a category, i'd say that i'm a Worrier.
LuckyGrl-83 LuckyGrl-83 10 years
I'm totally a crisis-maker!! lol... i work best under pressure... i guess i just dont feel motivated enough to do the tasks i need to to until they absolutely need to get done!
vmruby vmruby 10 years
Procrastinator is not in my vocabulary LOL!
Jinx Jinx 10 years
Not sure where I fit in here, but I'm damn good at it! lol ------------------------------------------------------ "We're forced to bed, But we're free to dream" Gord Downie
DearSugar DearSugar 10 years
nica -- thanks again for catching my draft, which managed to get itself published early. if i were a perfectionist i'd be reclining in a padded cell by now!
controlledspin controlledspin 10 years
I am a worrier, all the way.
Pinkrabbit Pinkrabbit 10 years
I would have to say I am a full on Dreamer. But I don't see anything wrong with that... Is that wrong?
nicachica nicachica 10 years
ack Dear, i think this is a bit unfinished! very hard to read and it looks like it's still in the editing stages. did you post it too early perhaps? (or maybe you're a "Perfectionist" and are purposefully making this mistake?) ;)
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