Procrastination isn’t always a bad thing! That’s right, you can let yourself off the hook and relax a little. There is a good reason why some people procrastinate and it has to do with personality types. One type of procrastination is “avoidance”. Avoidance is negative energy and is an attempt to postpone or get out of something unpleasant. It is usually based in the fear of a negative outcome. Not all procrastination is motivated by avoidance, however, and you need to be able to recognize the difference. “P” type personalities, for example, often procrastinate because they do not like restrictions and prefer to delay making decisions in order to keep their options open.
Perceptive type personalities prefer spontaneity to routine or structure. They can become easily bored by the mundane and they like to think outside the box. For these types of individuals they do not like to become “boxed in” by being forced to make a decision regarding an event or activity in advance. When you think about it, restrictions come in many forms. When one begins a project that is time consuming, this becomes a restriction. Often, Perceptive types will postpone a project simply because they do not wish to have their time occupied at the present moment.
These personality types relish their freedom and creativity and do not like to be told when and how to do things. Bosses and administrators would benefit from recognizing this personality trait and leaving the artist to do his work his way. While they may need to be gently reminded on occasion regarding a project, they do not like to be micromanaged and will become passive/aggressive if that attempt is made.
Another reason for procrastination has to do with energy consumption. Introverts, and especially ADHD types, are selective as to how they spend their energy. ADD/Hyperactive individuals are motivated by activities which can hold their interest. Activities which will become boring and/or tedious will be avoided simply because the individual knows that he or she will not have the necessary endurance to complete the task. Sometimes, these personality types need motivation or inspiration in order to complete a task and wait for the deadline in order to provide them with the necessary “kick” to get the job done.
Unfortunately, because the corporate world operates on schedules and structure, Perceptive types are often made to feel bad or wrong for wanting to have options. They may internalize these feelings and believe that something is wrong with them and that they can’t hold a job or succeed in academics. Self doubt and low self esteem can contribute to avoidance due to the fear of failure and rejection caused by inappropriate expectations. At this point, positive, personality driven, procrastination becomes confused with avoidance.
Intuitive/Perceptive types are especially prone to procrastination and are more likely to suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder as well. Intuitives are imaginative and conceptual which renders them less tactile and pragmatic than their Sensor counterparts. They are more prone to overthinking and daydreaming, which when combined with the Perceptive trait, increases the risk of boredom and procrastination. Procrastination which is due to overthinking and daydreaming can become a type of escape, which is avoidance, by the Ego and becomes a form of self-sabotage.
For personality types who are prone to procrastination, it is important that you distinguish between that which is motivated by the desire for personal freedom and independence and that which is motivated by the fear of failure or self doubt. Feeler type personalities are more sensitive to the opinions of others and are more prone to the fear of failure. However, those with ADD will also be sensitive to doubt and possible failure due to past struggles. As a caregiver or manager, it would be helpful to discern the motivation behind delays in productivity. If you know the individual is capable of performing the task, it may be helpful to determine if s/he is bored, feels restricted in some way or is afraid of failure. Identification will enable the appropriate blockages to be removed.