What are the procrastinator behaviours in your team?

Procrastinator behaviour

There is no denying that we are all procrastinators in one way or another.

In fact, there are six types of procrastinator behaviours. For the manager trying to supervise procrastinators it can be very frustrating. If an employee isn’t doing what is asked or expected, or isn’t meeting deadlines, it impacts not only the business but their colleagues as well.

Procrastination is normal but we do it for different reasons. Generally, it isn’t to annoy the manager or other colleagues. We’re hard wired to procrastinate in certain situations usually because we are frustrated, bored, or anxious.

Types of procrastinator behaviours

How we feel about doing the task at hand can be driven by one of the following behaviours:

1. The plenty of time procrastinator – who says, ‘I work well under pressure’, their challenge is about delaying the start of the task because they believe they perform better at the last minute. However, if there is no deadline set, they may not start at all.

2. The anxious procrastinator – who says, ‘I am so busy right now’, their challenge is the fear of getting started. This means they’ll often take on more work than they can realistically do, causing more stress and anxiety, including to those around them.

3. The perfectionist procrastinator – who says, ‘This task must be 120%’, their challenge is to not set the bar so high that they become overwhelmed with the fear of producing a low standard effort, and therefore not getting started.

4. The fun procrastinator – who says, ‘I just had the best idea’, their challenge is that everything else is a lot more fun rather than the task at hand. They’re often innovative thinkers, which is good for business, but the task must still be done.

5. The worrier procrastinator – who says, ‘I don’t think I can do this job’, their fear is that the task is more than their capabilities. They are so worried they can’t do what is asked of them that they don’t even start. Not starting at all means they are guaranteed to fail, reenforcing the issue.

6. The resistant procrastinator – who says, ‘This is not worth doing’, they think the task is beneath them and so not worth their while. The trouble is that whoever requested the task still needs it done.

Procrastinator behaviours are hard to recognise

The type of procrastinator behaviour you are dealing with can be hard to recognise. It is dependent on their emotional response to the job at hand; how they feel about it, their past behaviours, and their underlying beliefs. What is important is to know who your procrastinators typically are, keep deadlines short and hard, remove distractions, and don’t keep piling on more tasks rather, hand them out consecutively.

Remember that procrastinators are human. Ask them if they need help. It might be enough to get them motivated to start. Alternatively, your procrastinator might actually be good for business. Charles Darwin, Edgar Allan Poe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Leonardo da Vinci are well known procrastinators. Who would not want any one of them on their team?


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5 ways to challenge your beliefs in the workplace
Six strategies that build trust in the workplace

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