Confessions of a serial procrastinator

silhouette of person raising its hand

Written by Katie


I have a bit of a confession….

I’m a serial procrastinator.

I like to pretend I’m a perfectionist but it’s not true – I’m actually just Olympics level good at putting things off.

Like, why do today what I can put off until tomorrow, right?

Or at least, so I thought.

So let me back up a bit and explain.

I recently came across this article on procrastination and it got me thinking. 

Types of Procrastinator

According to the article, Ali Schiller and Marissa Boisvert, the co-owners of Accountability Works, have identified 4 main types of procrastinators:

1.The performer

2.The novelty seeker

3.The self-deprecator and

4.The over-booker

The performer

You know them.

The one who always delivers fantastic work but only when there’s a time crunch or a really tight deadline. The one who thrives under pressure. The one who has trouble getting started on a new task.

The novelty seeker

They sit on the other end of the procrastination spectrum. Never completing anything because they’re constantly distracted by a new idea, concept or project. They have stacks of ideas but very little finished work.

The self-deprecator

The one who laughs off their lack of progress by pointing out how lazy they are. But they actually aren’t. They’re so driven that basically things get left undone because they’re burnt out.

The over-booker

The one who’s too busy to do the thing because they are over committed in every block on their calendar. They just don’t have time to do the thing.

Which are you?

What I found most interesting about the article was that I could relate to every single type of procrastinator. As I read each one, I kept thinking me, me, yep me, me again!

Depending on where I am in any phase of my multi-passionate life cycle, any one of those archetypes can show up and really mess with my productivity.

A great example was how long I stalled on the idea of having a website for Awesomely Adept.

Rather than get stuck in immediately, I “needed” to know what web host would be the best, how much coding I’d need to do, who my ideal client was and so on. All really important, but all became mini projects that took up time and fed into the novelty seeker part of me.

They also ensured that I was so busy that I didn’t really have time to actually get started on the website (the over-booker) and every time someone asked me about the website I’d happily state how lazy I was being about the whole thing (the self-deprecator).

Finally I realised my good old friend the performer was out there too since I didn’t really have a set timeline that I needed to finish it in.

But then I clocked something else really interesting.

Every time I was at my least productive (or my definition of it anyway), I was more and more creative.

Somehow in the midst of all the procrastination I got really clear on my vision of what I wanted to deliver and eventually found myself knocking it out over the course of a few days.

It reminded me of the quote

“give me six hours to cut down a tree and I’ll spend four sharpening the saw.”

Attributed to Abraham Lincoln

So what am I saying?

Sometimes, procrastination isn’t really putting things off, it’s sharpening the saw.

And sometimes, it’s just procrastination and we have tools for that!

So what do you think? Do any of those types of serial procrastinator resonate? 

Let me know!

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