Level 1: "Eh, I take less time on my homework than everyone else. I don't need to start yet. No worries."
- If you are in level 1 procrastination, you're just fine. This isn't really procrastination at all, just increased time management.
Level 2: "Well, I'll need to work steadily, but I'm well within my comfort zone."
- This is mild procrastination. Still nothing to worry about, and seasoned procrastinators will call you weak and snub you if you start getting anxious at this level. If you are new to procrastinating, try getting to level 2 several times before trying for level 3.
Level 3: "Okay, I'll have to really move my ass on this now, and I can just squeak by."
- This is true procrastination. This is when procrastinators with a weak stomach throw in the towel and just do it. You don't lose any points for giving in on level 3,but you'll never experience the rush that late levels give you. This is a good level to attempt if you have some experience procrastinating, but still feel mild levels of anxiety when you "fall behind."
Level 4: "You know, I may have left this too long."
- True procrastinators know this level as the one where you start to get the little quiver in your stomach and truly start to worry. There's an art to letting things slide this far and no farther. It's a very small window between level 4 and level 5, and the truly artful procrastinator knows how to judge level 4 to the minute.
Level 5: "Oh, shit." (More elegant procrastinators refer to this as "bargaining.")
- This level is commonly seen as overreaching procrastinators misjudge the true length of time they can spend in level 4. The truly experienced often skirt the edge of level 5, trusting the adrenaline to keep them going. This is where things might creep into your mind like "if I prop the textbook up on the medicine cabinet, I can read three sentences while I brush my teeth," or: "if I take this route to work, I can count on at least two red lights. That's good for another paragraph."
Those that love and support procrastinators tend to worry when their loved ones reach this level, incorrectly assuming that the procrastinator is suffering some harm. It may just be that your procrastinator is an adrenaline junkie, addicted to the manic high that comes with a level 5 win. Though the odds are against it, a sucess at level 5 brings the greatest sense of accomplishment.
(Incidentally, this is often seen among knitters right around Christmas time, and procrastinating costumers have reported level 5 the night before Renn Fest opens.)