September 5


Stop Wasting Time: Discover the Two Types of Procrastination Today

By Joshua Turner

September 5, 2023

Procrastination is a common issue that affects many people. There are two types of procrastination: active and passive.

Active procrastination involves intentionally delaying a task to work on other things that are still productive. Passive procrastination involves avoiding a task altogether and engaging in activities that are not productive.

Understanding the difference between active and passive procrastination can help you identify which type you are prone to and take steps to overcome it. Active procrastination can be a useful tool for managing time and prioritizing tasks, while passive procrastination can lead to negative consequences such as missed deadlines and increased stress.

Recognizing the type of procrastination you engage in, you can develop strategies to manage your time more effectively and reduce the negative impact of procrastination.

Key Takeaways

  • Procrastination can be divided into two types: active and passive.
  • Active procrastination involves intentionally delaying a task to work on other productive things, while passive procrastination involves avoiding a task altogether.
  • Understanding the type of procrastination can help you develop strategies to manage your time more effectively.

Understanding Procrastination

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks or actions. It is a common behavior that affects many people, and various factors can cause it. There are two types of procrastination: active and passive procrastination.

Active procrastinators are individuals who delay tasks intentionally, but they tend to perform better under pressure. They are motivated by the challenge of completing tasks quickly and efficiently.

On the other hand, passive procrastination is when individuals delay tasks due to a lack of motivation or interest. They may also delay tasks due to anxiety or fear of failure.

The intention-action gap is common in procrastination. It occurs when individuals intend to complete a task but fail to take action. It can be caused by fear of failure or fear of success. Individuals may need more confidence to complete tasks.

To overcome the behavior, understand the underlying causes. Active procrastination can be beneficial in some cases, but avoid delaying tasks to the point of causing unnecessary stress. Passive procrastination can be overcome by breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps and setting achievable goals.

Procrastination is a common behavior that various factors can cause. Understanding the two types of procrastination and the intention-action gap can help individuals overcome this behavior and increase productivity.

Psychology Behind Procrastination

Procrastination due to stress (PNSP) is usually caused by stress, fear, or overwhelm. When we feel stressed or overwhelmed, our brain’s fight-or-flight response is activated, which can cause us to freeze and avoid the task at hand. This type of procrastination can also be caused by negative self-talk, where we shame ourselves for being unable to complete the task.

Procrastination due to lack of motivation SNSP is caused by a lack of motivation or interest in the task. This type of procrastination is often associated with perfectionism, where we want to do everything perfectly and fear failure. It can also be caused by distractions, such as social media or TV, making it difficult to focus on the task at hand.


Both types of procrastination can lead to negative consequences, such as increased stress, low self-esteem, and even mental illness. However, understand that procrastination is not a character weakness but rather a physiological process that can be regulated.

Psychological interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can be used to help individuals regulate their emotions and change their behavior. This can involve up-regulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us relax and calm down, or down-regulating the sympathetic nervous system, which controls our fight-or-flight response.

Procrastination is a complex behavior influenced by various factors, including stress, fear, motivation, and distractions. We can develop strategies to regulate our emotions and change our behavior by understanding the psychology behind procrastination,

Impact of Procrastination

Procrastination can have a significant negative impact on an individual’s life. It can cause missed deadlines, incomplete tasks, and unmet goals. Procrastinators often scramble to finish tasks at the last minute, leading to lower-quality work and increased stress levels.

Procrastination can lead to lower grades and poor academic performance in academic settings. Students who procrastinate often struggle to complete assignments on time and may experience insomnia and health problems due to looming deadlines.

The behavior can also harm income and career success. Individuals who struggle with this may miss important deadlines or fail to complete necessary tasks, leading to missed opportunities for advancement or loss of income.

Procrastination can significantly negatively impact an individual’s life, causing stress, missed opportunities, and decreased productivity. You need to recognize the signs of procrastination and take steps to overcome it to achieve success and reach one’s full potential.

Types of Procrastinators

Passive Procrastinators

Passive procrastinators tend to avoid tasks by delaying them or ignoring them altogether. They are often indecisive and lack motivation, leading to a cycle of inaction. Passive procrastinators may also be dreamers who tend to daydream and avoid reality.

Active Procrastinators

On the other hand, active procrastinators put off tasks until the last minute but still manage to get them done. They thrive under pressure and use the adrenaline rush to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Active procrastinators may also be worriers who overthink and delay tasks until they feel more confident.


Defiers are individuals who procrastinate because they feel that they are being forced to complete a task. They may rebel against authority figures or tasks not aligned with their values or beliefs.


Crisis-makers are individuals who procrastinate until a crisis arises, which forces them to take action. They may enjoy the thrill of the last-minute rush and feel that they perform better under pressure.

Understanding the different types of procrastination can help individuals identify their tendencies and take steps to overcome them. Individuals can develop strategies to increase motivation and productivity by recognizing their procrastination patterns.

Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination is a common problem that affects many people, but it can be overcome with the right mindset and strategies. One effective way to overcome procrastination is to break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This can help you stay focused and motivated, making it easier to start a project.


Another tip is to set realistic goals and timelines. Be honest with yourself about how much time and effort a task will require, and avoid overcommitting or underestimating the time it will take to complete a project. Setting realistic goals and timelines means avoiding feeling overwhelmed or discouraged and staying on track toward achieving your goals.

Stay focused on the benefits of completing a task rather than the immediate pleasure of delaying it. This can help you stay motivated and productive and avoid succumbing to the temptation of procrastination. It can also be helpful to reward yourself for completing tasks, whether with a break, a treat, or some other form of positive reinforcement.

One common reason for procrastination is fear of failure or criticism. To overcome this, reframing mistakes and criticism as opportunities for growth and learning rather than failures can be helpful. Practicing self-compassion and refraining from harsh self-criticism can help you stay motivated and focused, even when things are unplanned.

Enlist the support of a partner or accountability buddy who can help keep you on track and provide encouragement and feedback. Working with someone else can help you stay motivated and productive and overcome procrastination challenges.


Procrastination can be broadly classified into two types: active and passive. Active procrastination can be advantageous in certain situations leading to better decision-making and creativity.

However, it can also be dangerous if it leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. On the other hand, passive procrastination can be detrimental as it involves avoiding tasks and responsibilities altogether, leading to missed opportunities and negative consequences.

Recognizing and addressing procrastination tendencies is important to improve productivity and overall well-being. Setting achievable goals, breaking tasks into smaller steps, and prioritizing important tasks can help combat procrastination. Seeking support from friends, family, or a professional can also be beneficial in overcoming procrastination habits.

Overall, understanding the different types of procrastination and implementing effective strategies can lead to a more fulfilling and successful life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two types of procrastination, according to Tim Urban?

Tim Urban, the author of the popular blog Wait But Why, describes two types of procrastination – “Type A” and “Type B.” Type A procrastinators wait until the last minute to complete a task and thrive under the pressure of a deadline. Type B procrastinators, on the other hand, are those who delay starting a task due to fear of failure, lack of motivation, or feeling overwhelmed.

What are the two types of procrastination psychology today?

Psychology Today identifies two types of procrastination – “passive procrastination” and “active procrastination.” Passive procrastinators tend to put off tasks and may struggle with time management. On the other hand, active procrastinators may delay starting a task but use the time to gather information, brainstorm ideas, or work on other projects.

What are some examples of procrastination?

Procrastination can take many forms, such as delaying starting a project, avoiding difficult tasks, or getting distracted by social media or other activities. Some common examples of procrastination include putting off studying for an exam until the night before, waiting until the last minute to complete a work assignment, or postponing a doctor’s appointment.

What distinguishes the two types of procrastination?

The two types of procrastination differ in their underlying motivations and behaviors. Type A procrastinators tend to work well under pressure and may even enjoy the rush of finishing a task at the last minute. Type B procrastinators, on the other hand, may struggle with self-doubt, anxiety, or perfectionism, which can lead to avoidance and delay.

How can I identify which type of procrastination I am experiencing?

Reflecting on your motivations and behaviors can help you identify which type of procrastination you are experiencing. If you tend to put off tasks until the last minute and feel energized by the pressure of a deadline, you may be a Type A procrastinator. If you struggle with getting started on tasks due to fear of failure or lack of motivation, you may be a Type B procrastinator.

What are some strategies to overcome procrastination?

Strategies to overcome procrastination include breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps, setting realistic deadlines, using positive self-talk, and minimizing distractions. For Type A procrastinators, setting earlier deadlines or creating artificial pressure can help avoid last-minute stress. Addressing underlying fears or limiting beliefs for Type B procrastinators can help increase motivation and reduce avoidance.

You might also like