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 (43)
  • sunshine123 wrote This week
    I am so happy that my score was a 52
  • Michele wrote This month
    Skumarverma,

    Now that you are aware, you can take steps to change your behavior. We have a Bite-Sized Training session on this topic that you may find helpful. You can find it here:

    http://www.mindtools.com/community/Bite-SizedTraining/OvercomingProcrastination.php

    Michele
  • Skumarverma wrote This month
    Oh my God.. my score is 31...
    I never knew that I am doing this ..
  • Yolande wrote Over a month ago
    KE7NBL, it's good to hear that you're going to apply what you've learnt to help you feel more accomplished more of the time. That in itself is a motivation second to none!

    Yolandé
    Mind Tools Team
  • KE7NBL wrote Over a month ago
    Mild procrastinator. Sometimes I can just get right in there and get something done so quickly, and other times I think, oh, this will be so fast, I can do it later. Ugh. Sometimes I make a list and I get all those things done and I feel very accomplished! Other times, not so much. Thanks. I'm sure this is going to help knock that down so that I can feel accomplished all the time.
  • Midgie wrote Over a month ago
    Hi lisauberry,
    Welcome to the Club and sharing for sharing with us after taking the quiz. It is 'never too late' to make any changes in our lives and the important think is to keep positive about making those changes.

    In my view, we are continually changing whether that is consciously or unconsciously. So, you just happen to now be more conscious about something and that is a great place to start!

    I encourage you to go through our resources related to procrastination, including our Bite-Sized Training module on Overcoming Procrastination - http://www.mindtools.com/community/Bite-SizedTraining/OvercomingProcrastination.php

    If you have any questions, why not post them in the Career Cafe area - http://www.mindtools.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=2 - where we can all help you to move forward with things.

    Let us know if there is anything we can help you with.

    Midgie
    Mind Tools Team
  • lisauberry wrote Over a month ago
    well...22! being a severe procrastinator is VERY frustrating. i really believe that lack of self-discipline is the root cause and until i correct that- then i'm pretty stuck. At 49 years old i'm working on all my negative characteristics that i should have corrected long ago. I hear it's "never too late"! (?) I am determined to fix myself........unfortunately, i may die trying! I have quite a journey, but find inspiration in a few quotes i will share....................
  • Yolande wrote Over a month ago
    Hi Archelle

    On our Permissions page ( http://www.mindtools.com/php/Permissions.php?e=rdqpermissionshelpdesk ) you will find more information regarding permissions and also citation of material.

    Yolandé
    Mind Tools Team
  • FeminineBrain wrote Over a month ago
    Hi!

    I'm a college student from the Philippines and I'm current working on my thesis. I was wondering if I could ask your permission to use this test in my paper to have a general overview of a person's procrastination

    Sincerely,
    Archelle Canedo
  • Midgie wrote Over a month ago
    Hi enlighten79,
    It's great to hear from you and glad that you found the site. It does contain a wealth of information that can help you professionally and personally.

    If you use the search function at the top of the page and search for 'motivation', you will find many articles that can help you improve your overall motivation to do things. I sum up motivation as the reason why you are doing something. When you are clear as to the reasons, and the difference it will make to your life when you do achieve a goal, then that helps with finding the incentive to take action!

    Midgie
    Mind Tools Team
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