The 5 Types of Procrastination

The 5 Types of Procrastination

Last update: 20 October, 2022

Depending on where you look, you might run into different classifications of procrastination. We’re going to focus on the ones that psychologist Neil Fiore came up with. He’s the author of books like Awaken Your Strongest Self and founder of the company Fiore Productivity.

Types of procrastination

Knowing what types of procrastination there are is important because they don’t all lead to the same things. In fact, no matter how procrastination might look, this thing we all see as so bad can actually be very positive. How? Well, it’s positive when you incubate an idea during the waiting period between coming up with it and taking action. So we’re going to get started on the 5 types…. ready?

The perfectionist

In this case, according to Neil Fiore, a person is a perfectionist because they’re afraid of people judging or humiliating them. They’re so thorough with everything that they waste too much time on the details. And then a lot of their projects end up by the wayside.

Instead of avoiding mistakes, they make too many, which makes them even more afraid of judgment. That is, they do exactly what they were trying to avoid: being embarrassed if something is wrong.

A perfectionist practicing procrastination.

The impostor

This is one of the types of procrastination that we see in people who are hard to please. Afraid of people labeling them as incompetent, they take on too much work to prove that they’re responsible. They want people to associate them with that quality. But this attitude might lead them to learned helplessness, a feeling that is closely linked to depression.

The dread-filled

Dread-filled procrastinators constantly put off their to-do’s or obligations because they see them as unpleasant or boring. This tendency is associated with the lack of motivation common in very repetitive jobs or where you don’t get any feedback about the quality of your work.

The overwhelmed

In this case, they have so much to do and so many tasks in their head that they don’t know where to start. It’s very common for that to end into a mental block keeping them from ever starting their work.

With this kind of procrastination, being overwhelmed by the amount of work might be a personal decision, or it could also come from someone in a higher position, like a boss, for example. Wherever it comes from, it’s not good; it just puts huge obstacles up in front of you.

Types of procrastinators: a man working hard at his computer.

The lucky one

Can you be lucky and a procrastinator? According to Neil Fiore, the answer is yes. These kinds of people think they only work well under pressure. So they put off everything until it’s gotten late and they’ll barely have enough time to do it.

Oddly enough, when they do get good results, they usually repeat the behaviorThat is, they’ll always put off the things they have to do until their back is up against the wall. Then they take advantage of the adrenaline they get from being trapped and they start. Of course, there are lots of times when they don’t get it done on time.

If you want to, can you stop procrastinating?

As you’ve seen, this kind of behavior can have terrible consequences. In a lot of cases procrastinators end up living at constant peak levels of stress. What that does is put their emotional balance at risk and unintentionally and indirectly harm their environment. According to Fiore, it might lead to an imbalance that will affect every part of their life, not just their professional life.

That’s why people who specialize in this topic recommend good time management. That way anxiety will never take over. Along these lines, here are some of their recommendations:

  • Look over the specific task you have to do. If it has a lot of parts, try to delegate or simplify it.
  • It’s also important to spend time organizing and planning. Think of what resources you’ll need and how and when you’re going to get them if don’t already have them.
  • You also have to be careful of your motivation and make commitments that you’ll be able to fulfill. This means that if you aren’t clear about your motivation for doing something, it might be better to stop.
  • Going step by step, splitting the work up into stages or smaller pieces, is a good idea too.
  • Lastly, to keep yourself from falling into a bottomless pit of procrastination, set deadlines. If you’ve gotten to a certain point and aren’t as far as you wanted to be, it’ll be like a wake-up call to re-evaluate the situation.

What now?

Now that you know about what types of procrastination there are, you can avoid them. If you identify with any of them, we hope that Fiore’s professional recommendations will help you overcome that.

But we don’t want to finish this article without going back to the point that we made earlier: not all procrastination is bad, and it isn’t always bad for productivity. Plus, there are times when people might think you’re procrastinating when you’re actually just weighing your options or trying to broaden your point of view. Take a look at this video on the subject!


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Knowles S, Servátka M, Sullivan T, Genç M. Procrastination and the non-monotonic effect of deadlines on task completion. Economic Inquiry. 2022; 60(2): 706-720.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.