Definition And Types Of Procrastination
Procrastination is a highly researched psychological construct which was first mentioned as early as in ancient Greece and has been scientifically developed for around half a century (Knaus, 2000). However, to date, the definition of procrastination has remained a widely debated topic, and there is no single, universally accepted interpretation of the term. As noted by Ferrari (1991) and Steel (2002), researchers reached a consensus on two key characteristics of the phenomenon: the presence of delay in the realisation of an intention, and the presence of a concomitant feeling of psychological discomfort. Furthermore, Senecal, Lavoie and Koestner, (1997) suggest that the tendency to postpone has two key origin types: internal (personality traits) and external (situational aspects). In line with previous research, Corkin, Yu and Lindt (2011) emphasise both the manifestation of procrastination as a single response to a situational impact and its existence as a stable personality trait.
The literature review shows that researchers commonly accept and use five key types of procrastination (Ferrari, 1994; Ferrari and McCown, 1994; Milgram, Gehrman and Keinan, 1992; Milgram and Tenne, 2000). This classification distinguishes the following types of procrastination:
- household procrastination – postponing the implementation of necessary daily affairs.
- procrastination in decision-making (including relatively insignificant decisions).
- neurotic procrastination – delaying the implementation of global life decisions.
- compulsive procrastination – a chronic tendency to postpone tasks in combination with a tendency to delay decision-making.
- academic procrastination – a delay in the implementation of educational tasks.
Looking at existing typology, it is clear that there is a need for a separate cluster of manifestations specifically related to work-based procrastination. Furthermore, despite a considerable number of publications showing interest in procrastination, there remains a lack of research into work-related procrastination. Around 80% of existing studies of procrastination are focused on investigating the functioning of this construct within the academic environment (Barabanshchikova, Kaminskaya, 2013). Nonetheless, work-related procrastination was never practically classified by the authors as a separate construct (Ferrari, 1992). As a result, there is an acute shortage of studies aimed at evaluating the tendency of postponing professional tasks in work-based settings.