In the world of education, procrastination tends to be normal for most students. I regularly work with students who wait until the due date of a paper before they start writing it or don’t read anything from a text book until the night before a big exam. While these habits are sometimes reinforced with good grades, the majority of instances of procrastination turn out to be counterproductive for most students. I have seen four primary types of procrastination behavior in working with college aged students. See if you can identify which one fits you the best. Below each type of procrastination are suggestions for you to overcome this behavior.
1. The Perfectionist
This type of procrastinator rarely initiates large projects or tasks in case their efforts yield less than acceptable outcomes. A typical statement he/she might make is: â€œI’m just not sure I can take it to the level I want it to be atâ€� or â€œWhy start something I’m never going to be happy withâ€�.
Turn large assignments into smaller more manageable tasks. Check with others about your grandiose ideas to see if they are realistic. Learn to accept your mistakes. View your mistakes as opportunities to perfect yourself.
2. The Rebel
These procrastinators simply do what they want when they want to do it. Often statements like these reflect this type of procrastination: â€œNot worth my timeâ€� or â€œThat’s not meâ€� and there’s always â€œNo one can make me do anythingâ€�.
Make a list of your priorities and match your activities to your priorities. Recognize that acting for yourself is better than receiving negative reactions from others. Focus on how you will complete assignments in your own way.
3. The Boiler
Think of a pot on a stove covered with a lid. What happens when the pot filled with water reaches a boiling point while being covered? Procrastinators in this category do not act until they’ve reached a boiling point or are creating steam/energy because there pot is about to boil over. They might say: â€œMy best work is done under pressureâ€� or â€œI like cramming for testsâ€� and finally â€œI remember more if I cram.â€�
Move up your deadlines. Have others hold you accountable for regular daily work. Learn to gauge a productive boiling point versus a boiling over point.
4. The Juggler
A juggler can have as few as three items to juggle or as many as seven, eight, nine, or ten. What happens when a juggler drops an item? Sometimes they keep juggling and sometimes they lose control of everything. A juggler might say: â€œI take on too many things at once so when one things get dropped I work on something elseâ€� or â€œI’m never sure which of my priorities are most importantâ€� and then there’s this â€œI’ve just got so much going on right nowâ€�.
Acknowledge your limitations. List out your priorities and schedule your time accordingly. Feel good about scheduling time for yourself. Learn to say â€œnoâ€�. If you keep a to-do list list your priorities next to each item.