In 1997, July 23rd to be specific, I clipped an article from a newspaper about the six types of procrastinators. And the answer is no, I have not put off reading this article until 2013. A writer, especially me, needs to know why he is not writing, so I thought this might be helpful to all of us.
One type of procrastinator is the perfectionist, reluctant to start or finish any task because of high expectations. This type is highly detail oriented, hoping to avoid mistakes. This is not me, as I avoid starting tasks for the simple reason that, like Bartelby the Scrivener in Melville’s short story, ” I prefer not to.” But if you are a perfectionist, then say ‘I could’, not ‘I should.’ At least the article says that. If it doesn’t work, don’t blame me.
Perhaps the opposite of the perfectionist is the dreamer. They are described as being vague, unrealistic, and romantic, unable to deal with details. They have to do lists, and think about lists; they say ‘soon’ or ‘someday.’ The recommendation is moving from passive to active, just do it, like the Nike ad said. I tried this approach, as the dreamer fits me. I tried it after putting it off for a couple weeks. It doesn’t work.
Then there is the worrier. They are easily overwhelmed because they have a small comfort zone. They lack confidence and avoid risks, saying, “What if. . .” I understand this as I worry a lot. The article says if you have a backup plan that answers the ‘What if’ question, you should be fine. I somehow doubt that, as you can worry about the backup plan as well.
Moving along we have the crisis maker. He can’t get motivated until the last minute. They like living on the edge for the adrenaline rush, so they avoid simple routine tasks. I have no understanding of these people. The recommendation is find an outlet for the rush. My adrenaline rush is talking a walk. I might do this later.
There are two types of defiers, one aggressive, one passive-aggressive. They promise to do something, but don’t follow through. The recommendation is to say what you mean and mean what you say. Have you noticed that the recommendations that come from the book, “It’s About Time” are easy to say, but not easy to do. This is because if you are a true procrastinator, you put off recommendations.
The sixth type are the overdoers. They are always busy, always working. They tend to make extra work rather than focusing on what needs to be done. They need to delegate. Frankly this does not sound like a procrastinator to me. More like a nut.
If you are a procrastinator I hope you found your type. I think there is some overlap as I see a bit of myself in two or three types. I had intended to publish this blog the other day, but we know how that goes. But now that this is published I can get back to procrastinating about more important things.