Procrastination is the postponing of more important activities for less important ones.

On the internet, you can also find many self-help videos on how to overcome procrastination, such as this one.

In the above video, the following two reasons for procrastination are given:

  1. People rather self-handicap. That means, they do not give 100% of their effort to reach a goal (e.g., doing well in an exam). This then creates the opportunity of an excuse. For example, they then can say "I did fail my exam because I did not work hard enough". In essence, the underlying motivation of self-handicapping is an anxiety for failure.

  2. Lack of organization. It is just hard to organize your life. You need schedules and lists and you need to write out what you need to.

The average score among students is around 9.4 points (Lay, 1986, p.477).

Run the demo

There is a student version and a non-student version. This demo uses the student version.

This survey seems to be allowed for use in research. As usual, acknowledge the author and cite the paper.


A basic scale item/question with some reverse scored items.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: characteristic
- extremely uncharacteristic
- moderately uncharacteristic
- neutral
- moderately characteristic
- extremely characteristic

l: procrastination
t: scale characteristic
o: random
o: width 40%
q: People may use the following statements to describe themselves. For
each statement, decide whether the statement is uncharacteristic or
characteristic of you using the following 5 point scale. Note that the
3 on the scale is Neutral - the statement is neither characteristic
nor uncharacteristic of you.
- I often find myself performing tasks that I had intended to do days before.
- I do not do assignments until just before they are to be handed in.
- {reverse} When I am finished with a library book, I return it right away regardless of the date it is due.
- {reverse} When it is time to get up in the morning, I most often get right out of bed.
- A letter may sit for days after I write it before mailing it.
- {reverse} I generally return phone calls promptly.
- Even with jobs that require little else except sitting down and doing them, I find they seldom get done for days.
- {reverse} I usually make decisions as soon as possible.
- I generally delay before starting on work I have to do.
- I usually have to rush to complete a task on time.
- {reverse} When preparing to go out, I am seldom caught having to do something at the last minute.
- In preparing for some deadline, I often waste time by doing other things.
- {reverse} I prefer to leave early for an appointment.
- {reverse} I usually start an assignment shortly after it is assigned.
- {reverse} I often have a task finished sooner than necessary.
- I always seem to end up shopping for birthday or Christmas gifts at the last minute.
- I usually buy even an essential item at the last minute.
- {reverse} I usually accomplish all the things I plan to do in a day.
- I am continually saying "I'll do it tomorrow".
- {reverse} I usually take care of all the tasks I have to do before I settle down and relax for the evening.

l: score
t: set
- sum $procrastination

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your procrastination score is {$score}.


  • Lay, C.H. (1986). At Last, My Research Article on Procrastination. Journal of Research in Personality, 20, 474-495.

  • Ferrari, J.R. (1992). Psychometric Validation of Two Procrastination Inventories for Adults: Arousal and Avoidance Measures. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 14, 97-110.