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What's Your Preferred Procrastination Style? (and How to Overcome It)

White clock on a yellow background with words associated with procrastination including next day, tomorrow, after, later

What’s your procrastination style? Are you a dreamer who enjoys planning more than doing or revels in possibilities? Or are you a busy bee who is in a constant flurry of activity or always has something to do (but it's not necessarily important or significant)? ⁠Maybe you are a crisis connoisseur who needs a deadline to get motivated (crisis cleaning, crisis cramming for an exam, crisis dieting, crisis filling out paperwork).

Most people procrastinate at some point in their lives. In fact, author Piers Steel's research shows that approximately 95% of people admit to procrastinating at some point (and he jokes that the other 5% are lying). James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, said something that resonated with me: “...being in the middle of procrastination is often more painful than being in the middle of doing the work.” Does this resonate with anyone else? So it seems everyone does it, and it's uncomfortable while it's happening. Procrastination can lead to regret; and long-term, chronic procrastination can morph into guilt or shame.

Recognizing my procrastination style helped me tame it

I ran across a book from1996 called It's About Time: The 6 Styles of Procrastination and How to Overcome Them by clinical psychologist Dr. Linda Sapadin and psychology writer Jack Maguire. This was fascinating and eye-opening information that I haven't seen before. Dr. Spadin's practice helps people overcome self-defeating patterns. As I read this book, I found myself nodding in agreement because I've used all of these procrastination styles at different points in my life.

Procrastination Style #1: Dreamer

Do you enjoy planning more than doing? Do you revel in possibilities? You may be a dreamer! And there is nothing wrong with dreaming until it keeps you from actually reaching for your dreams.

Procrastination Style #2: Busy Bee

Imagine you have a big project due. Instead of working on the project, you decide to sort your sock drawer and then proceed to alphabetize your spices. You might even decide to clean out your email. You are busy! ⁠