What kind of procrastinator are you?

Manlio Lo Giudice
5 min readJan 18, 2022


I recently stumbled across a simple basic categorization of procrastinators and I want to share a quick summary here.

Garland Coulson, aka Captain Time, on his book Stop Wasting Time: End Procrastination in 5 Weeks with Proven Productivity Techniques is breaking down the “procrastination population” into 4 main categories. All the quotes here are taken from his book, unless differently specified.

You’ve likely fallen into more than one category at some point in your life

Fully agree. In my experience as human potential development coach I’ve found that chronic procrastinators are rarely falling into one single group, but the majority of the time they can be “split” between 2 or even 3 categories. The above depends on numerous factors, including inner maturity, particular periods in life and so on. But for now, let’s breakdown those 4 categories more in detail.

The Worrier

I spend so much time stressing about deadlines and imagining what will go wrong that I get behind.

We, as human beings, cannot quit worrying , it’s a natural self-protection system. Issues arise when this behaviour becomes sort of chronic.

Applied to task and time management, the Worrier is actually spending an incredible amount of time and energy in thinking about imagined problems, things that could go wrong with his project, eventually resulting in sleep problems and diverting energy from the tasks to…useless entrophy ;-)

The Perfectionist

I spend so much time revising and looking for mistakes that I never finish.

Here, I need to add another quote:

To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions — Steve Jobs

In all time management, goal setting, life coaching sessions etc, one of the most frequent theme is: “go out and get your things done”.

Still, many people find difficult to close a deal, tackle one task, complete a project because they are over-concerned about the “quality” of their output. Probably, that’s linked to something deeper (i.e self-esteem, insecurity, acceptance), but the result here is that the Perfectionist is going back and forth on tasks many times, always to find something that can be improved or that has to be slightly changed, looking for perfection. I’ve personally tackled this side of my character: that’s the reason why you will probably find some grammatical errors or typos on this very article. Still, I wanted to have it done. Today. So, I just sat down and started typing. Did I read what I’ve written so far? Well, no. I will probably give a quick glance at the end, just one last touch up and then…go for publishing it. Will it be the perfect article? Sure not. Still, I will have published another article on Medium, something others might find useful, interesting or even funny. That’s my ultimate goal. Accomplished.

The People Pleaser

I say yes to everything, so I never have time for my own projects!

In Yes Man (affiliate link), Carrey is incredible. Keeping the story short with no spoiler: Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is stuck being so negative. After attending a self-help seminar, he learns to unleash the power of “yes”. This change leads him to all sorts of amazing and transforming experiences but, in the end, he will find that what is really important and powerful resides not only in the power of affirmations and positive thinking.

In which way the plot is linked to the subject of task management? Well, I know it is, because I’m at least (20% on average) a People Pleaser.

I just want to help people. I want people to be happy and grateful to me, for what I can bring to them, even a smile. Although it may sound extremely altruistic and positive, this behaviour is often hiding some underlining issues on acceptance and being part of a tribe or group.

This behaviour may back fire: taking more and more, answering to all the requests (in particular in this “always connected” world), may lead to become overwhelmed, to burnout and high stress. If voluntering is a good thing, taking too much without considering the negative aspects is a big concern. Learn how to say “I’m sorry but I can’t”, keeping your honesty and integrity, being truthful. People will appreciate it.

The Hummingbird

I jump around from project to project. I’m busy all day, but nothing ever gets finished.

Busyness vs Business. Being busy does not mean being effective and efficient. The Hummingbird is usually working the entire day, almost frantically, multitasking on everything, sometime completing easy and quick tasks that are often not considered so meaningful. Kudos to the Hummingbird for starting tasks, but they are usually too many to be handled and all tackled at the same time. So, at the end of the day, a quick recap of the accomplishments reveals that no one of the “Most important tasks” have been completed or even started. Lot of scattered energy vs a laser focus.

The Closet Procrastinator

I always get my tasks done on time, but I put everything off for so long that I exhaust myself in doing it.

First apologize for not having included this type of procrastinator on my vignette. Not that I dismissed it, but I do feel that this last character differs from the ones above, simply because the Closet Procrastinator is actually getting things done. And, usually, he does it meeting all the deadlines.

So, why this character is still considered a procrastinator? Well, in order to understand it, we do need to look for the difference between process vs output (or efficiency vs effectiveness).

Looking more into detail, the Closet Procrastinator is actually able to postpone the tasks, reaching a “point of non return”, when there is no more physical way to accommodate any other delay. He basically put himself into the “obligation” to tackle the task. Now or never.

This character may justify his behaviour saying “I do prefer to work under pressure”, but, in the majority of the cases, that’s not the underlining reason. Nobody is, in normal conditions, voluntarily adding more stress to his daily life. Reserving this “last minute execution” to the “task for the next day”, this kind of procrastinator finds himself often overwhelmed, hit by high stress levels with obvious consequences on personal health or social life.

Having said so, which one is your procrastination pattern? Check what you did accomplish recently and compare your feelings with the characters above. On Garland’s book you will also find a sample worksheet to record your tasks together with the perceived stress level and the categories so that you’ll start knowing more about you and initiate the very first steps toward a life with less procrastination and time wasted: then, you may go out for a relaxing evening with no remorse.

inspired by: Stop Wasting Time: End Procrastination in 5 Weeks with Proven Productivity Techniques from my friend Garland https://amzn.to/3tAJHz0 (Amazon Affiliate link)

p.s. Garland is offering a great deal for ThinKFit users (https://store.thinkfit.app/)

I’ve developed this app https://www.thinkfit.app/ to help students and freelancers get things done, taking care of physical and mental health.



Manlio Lo Giudice

Italian Engineer, Health and Safety manager and passionate about blogging. Working toward becoming an “Upgraded Self”. Alchemist. Creator of ThinkFit.app