Beat Procrastination With the 3 Types of Time Wasters Technique

Brad Jones 21-08-2017

Everyone procrastinates. Ready to stop? Track the problem to its source! Here’s how to figure out what kind of procrastinator you are, and do something about it.


We all know the feeling. We have the time to do a job today, but it’s not really due until next week. It’s often easier to procrastinate Stop Procrastination in Its Tracks With 5 Proven Brain Rules Procrastination comes in all forms. Believe it or not, there are several principles in psychology research that can help you stop procrastination in its tracks! Read More than it is to get something done. However, as it turns out, not all procrastination is exactly the same.

Dr. Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois) outlined three basic schools of procrastination in the following flowchart. Make your way through the graphic and see which one applies to you:

ferrari procrastination chart

If we take a good look at the reasons why we procrastinate, it’s easier to figure out ways to amend that behavior. Once you know which of these types of procrastination apply to your work, check out these strategies for making productive changes.

The Thrill Seeker

For some people, procrastination isn’t about laziness. A tight deadline can be a great motivator and sometimes that helps us produce our best work. However, we can take advantage of this trait by setting our own deadlines, rather than skirting close to those set by others.


Keep a To-Do List

Maintaining a to-do list 8 Super Simple To-Do List Tools to Keep You Focused A to-do list is the simplest productivity system. These eight minimalist to-do list tools are for tracking your daily tasks without the fuss. Read More is a great way to keep track of all your deadlines, especially if you’re working on various different projects.

There are various different tools that will help you keep a to-do list, and many of them allow you to set specific deadlines for individual tasks.

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Once you have this kind of canvas set up, why not set a rule that all of your deadlines are actually three days earlier than they are in reality? Obviously, it will take some discipline to hold yourself to deadlines you’ve created for yourself — but try keep it up for a month, and you might just find that beating a deadline is the thrill you’re seeking, even if you’re the one who set the cutoff.


Up Your Game

Most people who fall into the thrill-seeking category of procrastinators are putting off work in search of a sense of accomplishment. Getting thing done just in the nick of time can feel great, but it’s risky. The best way to address this behavior might be to re-address how you think about achieving goals.

Don’t let “getting it done” be the be-all, end-all of your attainment. Try implementing some time-saving techniques 10 Easy Excel Timesavers You Might Have Forgotten These ten tips are sure to minimize your time performing menial Excel tasks and boost your spreadsheet productivity. Read More in your workflow so you can set the pace, rather than just beat the clock. If you’re a thrill-seeker, you know that you enjoy a good challenge, so why not up the stakes? Don’t just meet your deadline, see how quickly you can get your work done while still maintaining a high standard of quality.

The Avoider

Avoiders put off work because they’re anxious about the outcome, whether it’s good or bad. Rather than finding out whether their work meets expectations, they’d rather skip the judgment of others altogether. That kind of outlook can prevent you from reaching your full potential, so here are two tips to help nip it in the bud.

Face Your Failures

This is probably the most difficult tip on this list to take on board, but it’s also the one that will yield the greatest results. All of us are going to fail at something sooner or later — but if you live your life in fear of failure, you’re going to find it much harder to bounce back.


Start with some small things that you’re not good at. Struggle to remember names when you meet new people? Learn how to do better 2 Simple Mind Hacks for Remembering People's Names Do you tend to forget the names of people you've just met? The good news is there's a mind hack that could help you avoid this social faux pas. Read More . Hate the way your handwriting looks? Change it 10 Unique Ways to Practice Your Handwriting When You Hate It You don't have to feel bored with handwriting practice. Here are ten tips and tools that will help you improve your handwriting and penmanship by writing beautiful sentences. Read More . Wish that you read more books? Do something about that How to Read 50+ Books This Year If you're like the average American, you're not reading enough. Reading more books can make you smarter and more successful. Let us show you how to read one book per week. Read More .

If you can tackle challenges like these, you’ll soon see how empowering it can be to overcome failure. Don’t see it as the absence of success; see it as a chance to succeed.

Remove Your Distractions

It’s harder to avoid the task at hand if you’re free from distractions. You might not be able to rewire your brain and remove the source of your procrastination, but you can certainly cut down on the ways your attention is being diverted.



For instance, there’s a Google Chrome extension 6 Chrome Extensions Every Student Should Use As a student, you have to use every tool at your disposal to go from student to sudious. Here are the Chrome extensions that will keep you focused, productive, and organized. Read More called StayFocusd that you can use to prevent yourself from visiting certain websites that tend to distract you from your work. You can choose specific sites, and schedule when you want to limit your access to them.

The Indecisive

If you’re indecisive, you might find that your search for perfection is mired by an inability to choose one route over another. Use these techniques to counteract the stress that comes with trying to avoid mistakes.

Use the Minimal Effective Dose

It’s tempting to think that perfection is always within our reach, but often that’s not true. If you’re a procrastinator, striving for perfection can easily result in failing to meet your deadline, and that doesn’t help anyone. This is where the idea of the Minimal Effective Dose Reach Your Peak Efficiency with a Minimum Effective Dose When "good enough" is actually good enough, why do we still push towards perfection, which in turn simply pushes us to waste time? How can we stop ourselves doing this? Read More comes in.

The Minimal Effective Does is a medical concept that states that any amount of medication beyond the amount that yields the desired effect is being wasted. This applies to your work life, too. You can pour effort into a project endlessly, but if it’s not making the end result better, it’s a waste of time and energy.

This isn’t to say that doing the bare minimum is the answer. However, if you know you’re something of a perfectionist, it’s likely that you procrastinate by performing this kind of superfluous work.

Consider Kanban

If you’re a perfectionist, tasks can sometimes balloon up and seem insurmountable. Instead of thinking of them as one huge ordeal, split them up into smaller parts.

The Japanese Kanban technique How to Manage Your Tasks Using the Japanese Kanban Technique Here's how to use the Japanese project management technique of Kanban to optimize your workflow in a group or solo. Read More is a method of breaking a job down into stages and keeping track of several different tasks’ progress at any given time.

It’s a good way of keeping a team focused on the various parts of a project they’re responsible for. However, it can also help an individual meet their tendency to procrastinate head on.

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Break your jobs down into their component parts, and set a deadline for each stage of the progress. As you move toward their due date, you’ll be making steady progress through each project, rather than waiting until the last minute to get started.

Know Your Enemy

The first step toward dealing with your tendency to procrastinate 3 Resolutions Every Procrastinator Should Make in the New Year If you are a procrastinator, what can you do about it? Make these three resolutions for the new year. And not procrastinate on them. Read More is knowing why it happens in the first place. If you found something familiar in the flowchart at the top of this article, you’ve already taken the first step.

Now you need to act on that knowledge. Changing your routines isn’t easy, but it’ll make you a much more productive person in the long run.

Do you have your own tips on how to beat procrastination? Why not share them with other readers in the comments section below?

Image Credit: Elizabeth Foster via

Related topics: Organization Software, Procrastination, Project Management, To-Do List.

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