Are You a Procrastinator?

Do you put off doing things you ought to be progressing?

© iStockphoto/sjlocke

As with many self-sabotaging behaviors, the first step in stopping procrastinating is to recognize that you're doing it.

But this isn't always as straightforward as it sounds!

Many procrastinators persuade themselves that they have good reasons for delaying getting on with what they have to do. And once you've got into a "victim" mindset (which many procrastinators do), you may not realize that what you're doing is procrastinating, and that it's up to you to overcome it.

So take our self-test below and find out whether or not you are a procrastinator!

Are You a Procrastinator?

Instructions

For each statement, click the button in the column that most applies to rate yourself by indicating the extent to which each statement is characteristic or uncharacteristic of you. The scale ranges from (1) 'Not like me at all' to (5) 'Very like me.' Note that (3) on the scale is neutral i.e. the statement is neither characteristic nor uncharacteristic of you. Click the 'Calculate My Total' button to add up your score and check your result using the scoring table underneath.

Your last quiz results are shown.

You last completed this quiz on , at .

15 Statements to Answer

Not like me at all Not like me Neither like me or not Like me Very like me
1 I often find myself performing tasks that I had intended to do days before.
2 When planning a meeting, I make the necessary arrangements well in advance.
3 I generally return emails and phone calls promptly.
4 I find that jobs often don't get done for days, even when they require little else except sitting down and doing them.
5 Once I have the information I need, I usually make decisions as soon as possible.
6 When I have something difficult to do, I tell myself that it's better to wait to do it until I'm feeling more inspired.
7 I usually have to rush to complete tasks on time.
8 I usually accomplish all the things I plan to do in a day.
9 I usually start a task I'm given shortly after I'm given it.
10 When deadlines are approaching, I often waste time by doing other things.
11 I often have a task finished sooner than necessary.
12 When preparing for a meeting, I am seldom caught having to do something at the last minute.
13 I often delay starting tasks that I have to do.
14 When faced with a huge task, I figure out what the first step is so that I can get going.
15 I frequently say "I'll do it tomorrow".
Total = 0

Score Interpretation

Score Comment
15-30

You're a procrastinator, and it's not something to be proud of. It means that you miss deadlines and waste a lot of time. As a result, your boss is not getting from you what you're capable of delivering, and he or she is probably very frustrated with this. Follow the link below to to find out why you're doing this, and how you can stop it.

31-45

You're a mild procrastinator. You need to understand better why you procrastinate – there are several reasons, for it, and more than one may apply to you. And you need to learn the steps you can take to stop doing it. Click the link below for more information.

46-75

Good news! You're not a systematic procrastinator! If you do, however, occasionally catch yourself procrastinating over something, follow the link below for tips on dealing with this.

Source: This set of questions is based on the Procrastination Scale created by Professor Clarry Lay of York University, Canada, and is presented with his kind permission. The questions are for illustrative purposes only, and no validation work has been conducted on them.

Procrastination is as tempting as it is harmful. If you have recognized a tendency to procrastinate within yourself, you need to figure out why. Perhaps you are afraid of failing? (Or perhaps you're actually afraid of success!)

Once you know why you procrastinate then you can plan to get out of this stressful habit. Reward yourself for getting jobs done, and remind yourself regularly of the serious consequences of not doing those tasks you love to avoid! See our article on Overcoming Procrastination   to learn how to kick this self-sabotaging habit!

Key Points

Procrastination is stressful, is highly damaging to your productivity – and is often deeply frustrating for your colleagues to deal with. The first step in beating it is to recognize that you're doing it, and this self-test will show you whether you are.

This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Subscribe to our free newsletter, or join the Mind Tools Club and really supercharge your career!

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Comments (30)
  • Midgie wrote Over a month ago
    HI everyone,
    Thanks for sharing. I do love quizzes like this as it can 'open your eyes' to some habits that you might not otherwise notice. Plus, provides links to additional resources that can help.

    Hope you all take some time to look through those additional resources so you can put into practice a few strategies that will make a positive difference.

    Midgie
    Mind Tools Team
  • Cassie wrote Over a month ago
    I got a 71. I have never been a procrastinator.
  • Richard wrote Over a month ago
    This is certainly a good exercise it opens your eyes to so many things and keeps you on your toes.
  • 93748586134345 wrote Over a month ago
    wow i got a 15..... i need help
  • 9252330 wrote Over a month ago
    i got a lot to work on....
  • Pastor Robert wrote Over a month ago
    Wow, I've never see myself as a procrastinator, I guess you learn something new every day.
  • Yolande wrote Over a month ago
    True, desulem54. People who need pressure in order to perform can become bored very quickly if they don't have the pressure / adrenaline.

    Yolandé (Mind Tools Team)
  • desulem54 wrote Over a month ago
    From my point of view, it is motivation to get something done that needs to get done. I think you tend to get sloppy when putting things off to the last minute unless you're someone who thrives in working under pressure
  • Midgie wrote Over a month ago
    Hi Theodore,
    I like your idea of giving yourself some sort of incentive or reward. It is like the proverbial 'carrot' to help keep you moving forward until you reach it!
  • Theodore wrote Over a month ago
    Procrastinating is not necessarily something we want to do. It usually just happens, but if you just give yourself that a little incentive. You will find that the reward is greater.
Show all comments

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