There are more than 10 types of procrastinators. I am going to focus on these 10 that I found most relevant.
In my last post on procrastination, I mentioned about the science behind procrastination and ways to beat it permanently. You can view it here:
10 types of procrastinators are
We all have fear in us. Fear is primal and we try to avoid it as much as possible. The unconscious mind always tries to avoid fear as it is a danger for survival.
Just imagine, if you lose your fear instinct, then you go to a graveyard at night and sleep there if you are homeless or maybe sleep beside a lion because you don’t have a fear of getting eaten.
Ok, this is the extreme case, the point is our brain tries to detect fear like trying to avoid a phone call from an unknown number or completing your dream project. What if you didn’t succeed after completing it or what if you succeed after completing it.
The people who avoid their work because of fear are known as Avoiders.
Everyone grows up in different ways. Childhood experiences are strong determinants of a person’s self-esteem.
Our brain shapes how we experience life. If you have never spoken to a girl for most of your life, I would probably guess that you are bad at dating.
If you are raised by a strict father who always tells you what to do, not to do and scold you for making minor mistakes, then there would be a good chance of developing low self-confidence after you grow up.
This is what our unconscious brain will be trained for, but we can change over time, and a lot of us have changed because of our conscious brain.
A lot of us procrastinate because of low self-esteem.
This is one of the biggest types of procrastinators. Everybody likes immediate gratification and there is nothing wrong with that. This too is primal like fear. If there is no conscious brain to tell us that eating too much sweet is bad for us, we would have always gone for the vanilla extract ice cream.
My friend Ragu has gained 10 kilos of fat and now there is this voice in his head which is crying over and over again that please reduce or burn that fat. That is his conscious mind.
He decides to lose weight. But the pizza that he sees in youtube ads looks too tasty and what about the comfort of sitting on a sofa under a fan in that hot summer.
He wants to lose weight but he cannot give up his comfort. He wishes there are good medicine to burn body fat without doing anything.
No this is not the spell of harry potter. It includes the types of procrastinators who become frozen because of overwhelming work or fear. Remember Avoiders.
Avoiders avoid doing their work while these types of procrastinators freeze when they detect a threat or see overwhelming work.
Ragu’s boss gives him a mountain of work to finish but he has to go home before 6 pm because he has promised his girlfriend to meet her parents.
If he doesn’t meet her parents she would probably break up because he avoided that for a long time as he is also an ‘avoider’.
Now his brain freezes after seeing all this work and he decides to go out and have a drink. To hell with this world.
I met Ragu yesterday. He was a dreamer. He wanted to start an e-commerce company of his own. When I asked why he hadn’t started yet, he said, he didn’t feel like working at all for it. He also said he wished somebody had created a company and gave all the profit to him.
I went out to a pharmacy and bought two headache pills after what I heard.
Jokes apart, Intrinsic motivation as the name suggests natural motivation which should come from inside and not because of an outward reward.
Going for a run in the morning because you want to run is intrinsic motivation while getting chased by a dog is extrinsic motivation where motivation comes from outside sources.
People who don’t have internal motivation always procrastinate the most.
This is the person who seeks perfection and is never happy with the end result. He always postpones and delays the deadline because he wants to improve whatever he is working on.
These types of procrastinators go for perfectionism. They want their work to be perfect but that doesn’t mean they are perfecting their work.
Ok, I agree, it is a little bit confusing.
Let’s explain with an example: My friend Ragu decided to open a youtube channel. Because that is how you can earn money from home, a friend told him.
Ragu knows that a lot of people cannot succeed in this platform, only a few. So, he will not be like those who start their channel and fail. He will do everything perfectly so that he can succeed.
He will buy a perfect camera, a perfect name of the channel, a perfect logo, perfect lights, perfect content, etc. You got the point.
Perfection is an illusion but that doesn’t mean you cannot go for better and settle for less.
Book recommendation to beat procrastination are given below:
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Ok, so your final exam is on Tuesday. That means you have still 72 hours to prepare. Let us watch the Christopher Nolan Batman series first, and then you will start your preparation and finish it by Monday evening. Challenge accepted.
Thrill-seekers put their work for the last moment to finish. They say that they work best under pressure and which is nothing but a big lie they are telling themselves.
Good quality work doesn’t result from a hasty work nor good result in your final exams after studying for one night. You lie to yourself to feel better about your procrastination.
You feel proud of it that you don’t need to study the whole year to achieve a better result like others. And what if you study the whole year? You would surpass everyone else in the universe.
These types of procrastinators are running after the dopamine which releases on the imagination of completing an impossible task in a short time. That makes them feel special. But in reality, they are nothing but a procrastinator which will affect other aspects of their life after school or college.
An addict is someone who cannot stop a particular behavior although he/she knows the consequences. It can be a drug addict, game addict, or adult movie addict.
He wastes his time because he cannot control himself and no matter how bad he feels after doing it, he still goes for it over and over again.
My friend Ragu spends most of his time playing PUBG, a competitive online game. He is not playing to become a professional player. He just plays for fun, according to his words.
He realized how much time he wastes by playing that game every day while he could work for his dream company. So, one day he decided, after wasting the whole day playing the game, that he would uninstall it from his computer. Good for Ragu.
The next morning, he installed the game again, because he cannot live without it. He doesn’t care about the consequences, the game makes him happy and this is what matters. Poor Ragu.
If strict parents can create low self-esteem then it can also create rebels. In an environment where a child is constantly controlled by his parents then he cannot express their own intentions. In these circumstances, they don’t have many options and internalize rebellious nature in them. Over time it is wired in their brain and procrastination emerges.
After growing up when these kids express their own opinion to a particular work but for some reason or for someone they don’t want to do it, despite the harms.
My friend Ragu was cooking paneer tikka at his home. He was very hungry and couldn’t bear the hunger for one more second. He never cooked before but he thought he should give it a try.
His sister tried to help him which he didn’t like because it was his idea. She told him what to do and what to avoid, but in a good and friendly way because he was making a mess. Finally, he couldn’t bear her presence one more second and left the kitchen.
She requested him to finish his cooking but he didn’t open his bedroom door and slept in hunger. Poor Ragu.
These set of people cannot prioritize what is important because everything that comes to them feels important.
A person is busy working on a project, but suddenly something comes up and they start working on that one. As a result, they finish nothing by the end of the day.
These people have a lower cognitive function as they fail to plan and prepare because they don’t understand the urgency or importance. They fail the deadline one after another.
My friend Ragu finally decides to work for his company. He starts his day with meditation and after that, he decides to finish working on the blueprint of the company. But, his youtube channel got 300 views today, so he should think of new content for his channel.
He starts working on his content when he decides he should go and do the market because once again he is going to try his paneer tikka.
Over time he realizes he didn’t work on the blueprint, nor his content and now he doesn’t feel like going to the market anymore. At the end of the day, he finishes none.
The biggest reason for most procrastinators is ‘not feeling like working’. When you allow your brain for immediate gratification, your brain doesn’t care for deferred gratification. I am not going to talk about motivation and the role of the neurotransmitters, that will be for another article, but the point is we can still change ourselves.
Remember that conscious mind, that little voice. It knows what is right and what is wrong and it can guide you your whole life and show you the correct path, but that path would not be easy, and seeking an easy and quick way on the internet is nothing but another kind of procrastination.