Therapy

A Procrastination Test to Uncover Procrastination Patterns

By Dr. Bill Knaus, EdD
Created Jun 4 2010 – 5:11am

When you know where you stand on procrastination, you know what to change.

This crash course on procrastination shows how to identify procrastination patterns and it prescribes remedies. The Procrastination Test is a set of self-assessment questions that spotlight areas of changeable thinking, emotions, and behavior that link to procrastination. After you identify your procrastination hot spots, I’ll point you to blog themes to find remedies.

Use the test to establish a baseline for where you currently stand on procrastination. A baseline is a standard for comparing future measures. After you’ve tested some of the remedies, use the test to identify where you’ve progressed and where you still have work to do.

Published on Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com)

By Dr. Bill Knaus, EdD
Created Jun 4 2010 – 5:11am

When you know where you stand on procrastination, you know what to change.

This crash course on procrastination shows how to identify procrastination patterns and it prescribes remedies. The Procrastination Test is a set of self-assessment questions that spotlight areas of changeable thinking, emotions, and behavior that link to procrastination. After you identify your procrastination hot spots, I’ll point you to blog themes to find remedies.

Use the test to establish a baseline for where you currently stand on procrastination. A baseline is a standard for comparing future measures. After you’ve tested some of the remedies, use the test to identify where you’ve progressed and where you still have work to do.

After making satisfactory progress, use the Procrastination Test bi-monthly as an early warning system. When you have a regular reminder system, it is easier to stay on a productive track. Procrastination prevention, for example, is easier than curbing procrastination once it is in motion.

Instructions

Each procrastination question points to different but overlapping procrastination activities. Your answer is on a three point scale: not me, somewhat like me, like me. Score zero for not me, one for somewhat like me, and two for like me. When you finish the test, total your score.

If you prefer to surf Science and Sensibility for information and quick tips for each item, the dates that appear directly under each question refer to a blog in this series that relates to the question. If you want information and quick tips for a specific item(s), go to the links at the end of this blog and click the link that addresses your area of interest.

The Procrastination Test

                                                            Not me Somewhat like me Like me

1. Procrastination comes naturally to me.          ___     ___      ___
May 24, 2010
2. I have responsibilities that I’m not doing.        ___     ___       ___
March 19, 2010; April 26, 2010
3. I have plans that stay on the drawing board.   ___     ___       ___
May 17, 2010
4. I divert from uncomfortable priorities.              ___      ___       ___
April 26, 2010; May 24, 2010
5. I tell myself that later is the time to begin.       ___      ___       ___
February 26, 2010.

6. I start things that I don’t finish.                       ___      ___      ___
May 17, 2010

7. I have a habit of showing up late.                  ___       ___       ___
May 17, 2010
8. I delay acting to meet a deadline.                 ___       ___       ___
March 19, 2010
9. I find ways to extend deadlines.                    ___        ___       ___
March 19, 2010 

10. I come up with excuses to explain delays.   ___        ___       ___
March 19, 2010
11. I put off hard decisions.                               ___        ___       ___
March 26, 2010; April 12, 2010
12. When I’m not sure, I’ll avoid the situation.    ___       ___        ___
March 12, 2010
13. I put off making a needed lifestyle change.  ___        ___       ___
April 9, 2010
14. My pessimism prompts delays.                    ___        ___       ___
April 12, 2010
15. My emotions affect what I do.                       ___        ___       ___
March 26, 2010
16. My intimate relationship is going nowhere.    ___        ___       ___
May 3, 2010
17. I avoid what frustrates me.                            ___        ___       ___
May 10, 2010
18. I get side-tracked by conflicts.                      ___        ___       ___
May 17, 2010 
19. My doubts and fears inhibit my actions.        ___        ___       ___
March 12, 2010; May 24, 2010
20. When I feel anxious, I’ll avoid what I fear.      ___        ___       ___
March 5, 2010

 Total “somewhat like me” + “like me” scores: _______.

Interpretation

Some questions won’t have the same feel because they have different nuances. Study the subtlety. It says something about how you perceive situations or what you do as result of your perceptions. For example, item six suggests behavior procrastination. This is different from intrigue procrastination (item 18), or decision-making procrastination (item11).

Procrastination ranges from an inconvenience, to a hindrance, to disabling. The procrastination test doesn’t tell you where you stand in this range. Rather items one to 10 suggest procrastination tendencies. Items 11-20 point to more specific procrastination hotspots. Likewise, the meaning of a total score is suggestive. If you have a zero total score, what are you doing wasting your time taking this test? In the unlikely event you score all zeros and one “two,” that “two” can be a bane of life worthy of addressing. If you score 30 or more, you have come to the right blog. But less than that doesn’t mean you are home free.

Items you mark as “unlike me” are areas that merit a second look. Look at what you are doing that works well that you can convey to other areas of your life. “Somewhat like me” suggests an opportunity to take actions to put yourself into the position of later answering “not like me.” Items you mark as “like me” are probable procrastination hot spots. (Interpretation continues on next page; links to blogs listed there.)

Suppose you mark most items “two”. Maybe you’re too hard on yourself. However, don’t despair. Instead of many different types of procrastination to address, what you likely have are many examples of some basic conditions for procrastination. For example, your procrastination may be a combination of (1) self-doubts and hesitation, and (2) tension sensitivity and discomfort dodging reactions. Progress in one area can influence improvements in the other.
.
Work to progressively master procrastination and you can: (1) build your reasoning skills and mental muscle; (2) flex emotional muscle and boost your tolerance for discomfort; (3) develop behavioral follow through habits. This formula for psychological wellbeing and accomplishments can yield added joys and satisfactions to the narrative of your life.

Think you procrastinate too much? What do you want to tackle first?

To avoid information indigestion-and to use reading to divert from action–pick one area and work on that area first. When you’ve mastered that target area, move on to the next and apply what you’ve learned. In meeting your second procrastination hot spot challenge, learn a few more things to apply and apply them. This building block approach is likely to get your farther than trying to “do everything at once.” Such “multi-tasking” is a formula for feeling overwhelmed and then operating as though you were accelerating your automobile with the emergency brake engaged.

The following numbers refer to Procrastination Test items. There is no need to wade through batches of information. Click on the link and go directly to the source for added information and quick-tips for addressing your procrastination hot spots.

1. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/why-you-procrastinate-and-what-do-about-it

2. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201003/stop-procrastinating-and-beat-deadlinenowhttp://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201004/use-time-productively-you-d-ordinarily-spend-procrastinating

3. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/what-s-your-procrastination-style

4. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201004/use-time-productively-you-d-ordinarily-spend-procrastinatinghttp://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/why-you-procrastinate-and-what-do-about-it

5. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201002/stop-procrastinating-now-0

6. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/what-s-your-procrastination-style

7. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/what-s-your-procrastination-style

8. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201003/stop-procrastinating-and-beat-deadline-now

9. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201003/stop-procrastinating-and-beat-deadline-now

10. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201003/stop-procrastinating-and-beat-deadline-now

11. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201003/emotions-decision-making-and-procrastination

12. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201004/advanced-techniques-end-decision-making-procrastination

13. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201004/how-start-and-sustain-life-style-change

14. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201004/defeat-depression-and-procrastination-simultaneously

15. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201003/emotions-decision-making-and-procrastination

16. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/how-get-out-love-rut

17. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/stop-frustrating-yourself-and-cut-the-emotional-roots-procrastin

18. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/what-s-your-procrastination-style

19. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201003/break-perfectionism-and-procrastination-connection-nowhttp://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/why-you-procrastinate-and-what-do-about-it;

20. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201003/stop-procrastinating-and-overcome-your-anxieties-and-fears

 

Leave a Reply