The past few weeks on the blog, I’ve been delivering content to assist you to understand the cause and effect relationship of procrastination.
You yourself may not be a procrastinator but you will encounter many people who range from chronic to moderate with this addiction.
Today, I am providing you with a procrastinator quiz. It’s a series of forty true or false questions to assist you in identifying your current level of procrastination. I want to give you a clear understanding of what steps are necessary in executing your recovery plan.
Find some time where you can take this quiz in a relaxed environment where you can answer the questions objectively. At the end of the quiz, you’ll be able to evaluate whether you’re a procrastinator or a producer…
… and you’ll be able to determine if your procrastination borders on being chronic, or if you’re a moderate procrastinator.
Are you ready?
The Procrastinator Quiz
1. I return phone calls promptly.
Does it take you a long time to get back to people, or do you do return phone calls promptly? Do you let your phone calls pile up in your voicemail, taking several days to get back to them? Or perhaps you don’t ever get back to them at all. If you’re really in the game, you’re the kind of person that returns all phone calls promptly.
2. I create decisions quickly and promptly.
Do you pontificate, hesitate, levitate, or meditate when it comes to deciding? Do you agonize over your decisions? Do you ask other people for insight on decisions you’re about to make, or do you decide quickly? Do you promptly let go of the decisions you create, or do you agonize over your decisions? Do you doubt and undoubt, do and undo the decisions you make? Do you toss and turn because of what you did or didn’t decide?
3. I never incur late fees for credit cards or overdue bills.
Do you pay credit card bills on time, or do you let your statements stack up in a drawer until it’s overwhelming? Do you pay the minimum due on your credit card statement, incurring interest fees? Are you charged late fees for past due bills? Are your finances organized so that you are aware of when a bill is due?
4. I do my Christmas and birthday shopping promptly and ahead of time.
Do you wait until the last minute to buy gifts, or do you plan ahead for upcoming events? Do you operate in crisis mode? Do you send Christmas cards after Christmas? Do you send belated birthday cards, or do you miss birthdays altogether?
5. When I dine, I do my dishes quickly, not letting them pile up in the sink.
Do you clean up after yourself, or do you allow dirty dishes to stack up in the sink and overflow onto the counters? Do you dry your dishes and put them away immediately, or do you let your dishes air dry in the sink, leaving them there until the next time you use them?
6. I don’t delay starting on projects I have to do.
Do you put off your honey-do projects until they become honey-I don’t dos? Do you wait until the weekend, the end of the month, the end of the quarter, the end of six months, or the end of the year – or until you can no longer get your car in the garage? Do you have good intentions at the beginning of a Saturday and then suddenly find that you’ve procrastinated the day away? Or do you go out and start a project, completing it so you can take the rest of the day off?
7. I pay my bills as soon as they arrive.
Do you pay your bills right away when they arrive? If you’re like me, do you pay the bills the very day you get them, even putting the stamp on the envelope? Do you allow your bills to compound? Do they pile up? Do you forget about them? Do you stuff them in a drawer? Do you lose them? Do you have a system for paying your bills, or do you wait until the very last minute when you’re in chronic crisis mode?
8. I don’t miss concerts and sporting events because I remember to buy tickets ahead of time.
Do you wait until the last minute to buy tickets for concerts or sporting events, only to be disappointed because all the good seats are already taken? Or you purchase them ahead of time, getting the best prices, the best value, and the best seats?
9. When there are recurring tasks that I should be doing (i.e., prospecting, marketing, general business tasks, etc.), I don’t avoid them because of perceived pain.
Are you able to set a time, jump right in, and enjoy what you do? Or do you spend time avoiding the pain, inventing reasons to put off what you perceive as unpleasant? Do you go ahead and do what you say you’re going to do?
10. I set regular dental checkups and medical appointments and I keep these appointments.
Do you avoid the dentist because of perceived pain, putting off regular checkups until you really are in pain? Do you get regular physical checkups, following through with tests and blood work your physician recommends? Are you proactive about your health, or do you operate in denial?
11. When I travel, I’m at the airport well in advance. I’m never late and I never miss my flights because I’m very conscientious about being at the airport on time.
Are you on time for your flight, or do you create adrenaline by frantically rushing? Do you arrive at the airport at the last minute? When there’s a long line for security, do you fidget, worrying that you’re not going to make your flight? Do you absolutely have to run to the gate? Have you ever been the last one on the plane, not because the plane’s delayed but because you’re delayed? Or are you prompt, conscientious, on time, and relaxed when you arrive at the airport?
12. I’m able to park my vehicle in my garage comfortably without a lot of clutter.
Do you have floor-to-ceiling clutter? Do one or more of your cars have to sit outside your garage because your garage is full of stuff?
13. My workspace is neat and orderly; it’s a very comfortable place from which to produce results.
Is your desk clean and tidy, or is it an absolute disaster? Is your office in chaos? Would you be proud to let someone see your desk? Or are you embarrassed to have anyone in your office?
14. I make lists, completing and crossing off items in a timely, relaxed, precise manner.
Do you write down a list of what you intend to accomplish on a daily basis? Or do you resist making lists? Are you out of control? Do you forget what you’re supposed to be doing? Do you end up being late, missing appointments, and relying on others to remind you?
15. I am good about organizing my errands, and I create as few trips as possible.
Do you run around like a chicken with its head cut off? Or do you efficiently plan your errands? Are you constantly going back and forth, picking up items that you forgot, or are you thorough and organized with a routine and a system?
16. I answer questions quickly without having to think about the answer.
Do you answer questions decisively, or do you hem and haw until you can come up with an answer? Are you a person who can answer a question directly, or are you a person who tells a story?
17. I seldom repeat a question when someone asks me one.
Have you trained yourself not to repeat a question? Or do you repeat the question someone asks you so you can stop and think about how to answer perfectly? Can you receive a question and then just state the answer, or do you have to think about it, repeat it, and take three to eight seconds to answer?
18. I seldom say “um” when answering a question or starting a sentence.
“Um” is not a word; “um” is a sound. Do you fall into the habit of using this sound to buy yourself time, or are you decisive and congruent enough to drop this sound from your vocabulary?
19. I’m detailed and prepared when I shop, and I seldom forget items.
Are you someone that goes to the grocery store without a list and then wonder why you spent $300 when you only intended to spend $100? Are you as unorganized in your shopping as you are in your garage or your closets? Do you look at prices and have any idea what you’re buying, or do you just buy right off the shelf without any intuition? Do you carry a list when you shop? Do you only get the items on your list? When you arrive home, do you put away your purchases efficiently and professionally?
20. I am a thorough packer when I go on a business trip or a vacation.
Do you plan what to pack, or do you cram everything into your suitcase at the very last minute? Is your suitcase so full that you actually have to sit on it to zip it, and then when you get to the airport it weighs too much and you have to pay an extra fee? You may not realize it, but your suitcase represents your emotional state. Are you neat and thorough? Do you consider yourself to be an exceptional packer?
21. I do my laundry regularly; it never builds up, and I never fall behind.
Do you do your laundry only when you’re out of clothes? Do you have stacks of clothes in your bedroom and in the laundry room? Do you require more than one laundry basket because it’s overflowing? Or do you take a lot of pride in the way you hang and fold your clothes?
22. I am good at meeting deadlines and often complete tasks long before their deadlines.
Are you deadline-conscious? Do you finish projects way ahead of time? Do you have a plan, a method, and a routine? Or are you all over the map, always running behind schedule, receiving negative feedback for not being able to meet your deadlines?
23. My home is exceptionally neat, clean, and organized.
Is your house clean and organized, or is it a battle zone, a pigpen, and a recipe for disaster? Do you often misplace items or are unable to find important papers due to the clutter, or is your home clean, clutter-free, and calm?
24. I don’t overstuff my closets.
Is it difficult for you to hang a garment because of how packed your closet is? Do you have boxes on top of boxes in the closet? Do you have piles of shoes stacked on top of each other? Are you ashamed of your closet, or are you proud of how neat and orderly it is?
26. When I go out for the evening, I seldom have to do something at the last minute.
Do you have to constantly call other people to take care of situations you forgot? Do you wait until the very last minute to get dressed? Are you trying to do two or three things at the same time, or do you calmly leave your house without any concerns about whether you turned the iron off or locked the door? Are you in a relaxed state or a frantic state when you leave the house?
27. I seldom get behind in my day-to-day tasks.
Do you have a method of operation? Do you have a daily routine, one that you stick to? Do you have simple habits that you perform consistently every single day? Are you a creature of habit? Do you get up at the same time each day? Or do you live haphazardly, with no sense of a daily plan?
28. I seldom feel overwhelmed emotionally.
Do you operate from a calm, relaxed state? Do you take life as it comes, or do you often get rattled? Do you try to control situations, or do you stay in the moment? Are you often angry, resentful, and overwhelmed? Do you cause drama and chaos? Are you all over the map, or are you right in the middle of the moment?
29. I usually keep my gas tank full; I rarely drive until the tank is almost empty.
Do you wait until the very last minute to get gas? Have you run out of gas more than two times in your life? Do you like to live on the edge of the edge because of the adrenaline rush it gives you? Or is your driving experience calm and pleasurable, with no unnecessary drama?
30. I take the garbage out frequently so it doesn’t pile up.
Do you wait until your garbage is overflowing before you take it out, or do you take your trash out at least once a day? Does your trash smell because you empty it infrequently? Do you forget to put the trash out to get picked up, or do you make sure it’s ready for the trash pickup the night before?
31. I am committed to an exercise routine at least three to four days a week.
Do you have a consistent exercise routine? Are you overweight? Do you stuff your feelings with food? Do you constantly tell yourself that you’re going to get in shape, or that you’re going to lose weight? Do you have a simple exercise routine that you follow regularly? Are you structured or unstructured? Are you a conformist or a nonconformist? Are you a rebel or a producer?
32. I don’t let my email messages pile up.
Do you clean out your email inbox every couple of hours, or do you allow unread mail to accumulate to the point that you never get to it? Are your customer service skills exceptional? Do you have a system for filing emails you want to reference later? Or do you process emails in a random, unfocused way?
33. I’m good at answering emails and Facebook messages quickly.
Do you allow correspondence to accumulate to the point of overwhelm? Or do you systematically keep on top of messages, answering them quickly and efficiently? Do you waste time on social media sites, allowing yourself to become distracted? Or do you utilize social media in a way that enhances your goals and your life?
34. When the alarm goes off, I get up promptly, and I start my day fresh, alert, and ready to produce.
Do you stay in bed after your alarm goes off and then create excuses not to get up? Do you hit the snooze button more than once? Do you get up at a set time without an alarm clock? Do you wake up before the alarm even goes off? Do you forget to set the alarm, thus causing drama and chaos before the day has even really begun? Do you get to bed at a reasonable time each night so you can create a restful night’s sleep, or do you habitually burn the candle at both ends?
35. When planning parties, events, seminars, etc., I do so well in advance.
Do you wait until the last minute to plan the details concerning events or parties? Do you find yourself frantically trying to book a hotel at the last minute? Do you often have to pay more because you’re forced to – not because you choose to? Are you the type of person who always gets the best room, at the best hotel, at the best rate because you’ve done your homework and planned ahead?
36. I seldom let food spoil in the refrigerator; my refrigerator is organized and spotless.
Are you a packrat when it comes to your refrigerator? Is it so full of items that you can’t find things easily? Do you buy more than you require at the grocery store and then find that you can’t possibly use it? Are you a grocery store shopaholic? Does the food that you buy end up spoiling? Or do you keep a lightly but well-stocked refrigerator, one that’s neat and clean? Do you regularly clean the shelves, the doors, and the bins? Are you proud of your refrigerator, or is it so crowded that you hate opening the door?
37. I set goals that are realistic and achievable, and I frequently accomplish them.
Do you set goals so big that you can’t possibly achieve them? Do you set goals that are so overwhelming that you don’t even start them? Do you create goals that just give you a reason to procrastinate, or do you set realistic, attainable goals that you are able to achieve, even if you have to stretch a little? Do you rashly set goals that you don’t accomplish, or do you carefully set goals that you intend to achieve and then achieve them?
38. I take care of all the necessary tasks before I relax and go to bed.
Are you good about planning your day the night before? Are you good about cleaning up before you go to bed? Do you perform routine tasks so you don’t have to do them in the morning? Or do you fall into bed exhausted, leaving many routine things unfinished? Are you a multi-tasker or a multi-procrastinator?
39. I regularly balance my checkbook, and I have a good handle on my finances.
Do you neglect to enter checks in your checkbook register? Are you unaware of how much is in your checkbook? Are you out of money when you’re out of checks? Is your bookkeeping in total chaos? Do you hand your accountant a box with unsorted receipts at the end of the year, or are your receipts categorized and organized? Do you use Quickbooks? Do you enter the data yourself, saving money at tax time?
40. I know my monthly financial overhead for both my business and personal expenses.
Are you aware of what money comes in and what goes out? Do you have a savings strategy for the next several years, or are you living from paycheck to paycheck? Do you have a household budget? Do you spend money without any idea of whether you can afford to? Do you frequently incur overdraft fees in your checking account? Do you plan time to map out a tax strategy for the upcoming years? Are you a wise steward with your money?
Your Procrastinator Score
Now that you’ve taken the procrastinator quiz, let’s see where you really stand as a procrastinator.
REMEMBER, you only procrastinate in isolated areas that you perceive pain and/or rebel…
So even though your score may not be favorable, keep in mind that you can break down any addiction or emotion one day at a time. To break any habit requires that you first begin to address the feelings that affect the cause.
To score the procrastinator quiz, give yourself one point for each question you answered false and then total up the points.
24 or above: You are a chronic procrastinator, and procrastination keeps you stuck in many areas of your life.
14 to 23: Your procrastination borders on being chronic, and you require an overhaul session where you release as much clutter and procrastination as possible.
6 to 13: You are a moderate to average procrastinator who definitely requires some fine tuning, but you’re well on your way to becoming a recovering procrastinator.
5 or less: You are highly productive, and procrastination is a minor issue in your life. Even though it’s minor, however, there’s always room for improvement.
Remember, you’ll never receive 100 percent on any score of this nature. Procrastination is an effect, not a cause. To become a recovering procrastinator, you must be aware of why you do what you do. Your focus must be on letting go of the areas where procrastination shows up in your life.
Your goal is to become aware of the feelings that take you into procrastination. One way to begin is to take deep breaths from deep down in your diaphragm and even deeper into your groin so you can release the pain that keeps you doing the same thing over and over, stuck in procrastination.