What Will You Do? What Would We Predict?

The honest answer to this question is, "it depends." However, far too often we're led to believe, or we'd like to believe, that someone can actually predict what we'll do. Although it's true we're like all other people in some respects, we're also like no other person.

If a Job Is Worth Doing, . . .

You probably filled in the rest of this sentence. Here's a new twist on an old expression that may just help you make more of the opportunities in your life.

Awareness: A Key Piece in the Procrastination Puzzle

It is well known that mindfulness is an important coping resource. Did you know that there are a number of sub-components to mindfulness? One of these is more highly related to reduced procrastination than the others.

The Power of a Plan

A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology along with new features on smart phones may mean a lot less thinking and more timely doing!

Unnecessary Illusions and the Truth about Procrastination

I recently delivered an invited talk for an authors' series around the theme of "unnecessary illusions and truth." The theme fit what I've learned about procrastination over the past decade. Here are 10 illusions about procrastination with relevant research that challenges each.

What Do Procrastinators Think?

What we think about matters. The experience of frequent procrastination-related thoughts contributes to increased psychological distress.

Self-Control and Fatty-Food Consumption

We have an evolved preference for fatty foods, but in today's world we need to resist these consumption urges. A new study reveals the role of executive function in this self-restraint.

Why Do I Clean Out My Fridge?

Have you ever wondered why you end up cleaning out your fridge rather than writing a report. You could put off the report and go and have some fun instead. At a recent conference, my colleague proposed an answer.

Procrastination: Bad Credit on Future Self?

It's often the case we want things now for which we do not have the money. Credit solves this problem. Credit can create problems too. So it is with procrastination.

Debt-Ceiling Procrastination?

I just finished a NPR Marketplace Morning Report interview about the apparent procrastination around approving a required rise in the debt ceiling. The thing is, this isn't procrastination.

Procrastination and Performance in Online Learning

Do you spend time learning online? This new study on procrastination, learner participation in online discussions and course performance may interest you. There are certainly good suggestions for educators.

A Neuropsychological Perspective on Procrastination

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology is the first to investigate subcomponents of self-reported executive function related to procrastination. This is an excellent paper with practical implications for reducing procrastination.

Are You Procrastinating on Financial Matters?

Got 3 minutes to learn about how procrastination affects our financial lives?

Free Won't: It May Be All That We Have (or Need)

There's lots of research evidence demonstrating that many of our actions are not initiated consciously. Perhaps it's not a matter of free will, but "free won't," and this matters in terms of procrastination.

Do You Do What You Say You'll Do?

To what extent do you keep your promises to yourself even if later on you don't feel like doing what you had promised yourself to do? A recent study reveals the predictive power of say-do correspondence in relation to procrastination.

He Had a Year to Do It in

If you have ever put a task off—particularly a task that just never seemed to go away, or one that never got done—you'll enjoy this poem, "He Had a Year to Do It in." Some laughter for this Friday the 13th!

Do You Worry Too Much?

Do you feel it's your duty to worry? If your answer to this question is "yes," you may be suffering from a type of compulsive behavior called dutiful worrying. A new book authored by another Psychology Today blogger explains why some of us become compulsive worriers and offers a four-step program to end this vicious circle.

Crossing the Gap

Typically, psychologists define procrastination as a gap between intention and action. Have you experienced that gap? Did it look more like the Grand Canyon? How do you get across this gap?

Reflection on Our Desires: "Free Will" and Procrastination

I might desire a piece of chocolate cake, but at the same time desire that I didn't desire it. This capacity to reflect on our desires and to have "second-order" desires reflects a notion of free will and raises the issue of weakness of will that helps us understand procrastination.

Understanding Procrastination: A Birthday Blog

I hate doing this. I missed a birthday. March 24th marked the beginning of the fourth year for this Don't Delay blog. Birthdays are often a time for reflection, so here are a few of mine about my understanding of procrastination, then and now, with some criticisms, some kudos and a look to the year ahead.

Opening Pandora's Box: The Procrastination Risk for "Optimistic Improvisers"

We make different types of intentions. Some of us plan in great detail. Others leave their options open, but at the risk of opening something else as well . . . the Pandora's Box of deliberation and the potential for procrastination.

Hierarchy of Excuses: The Pathetic Path of Least Resistance

Recent research indicates that the degree of our cognitive dissonance relates to what kind of tactic we choose to reduce the dissonance discomfort. The rank ordering of our strategies and excuses is interesting, but it's only another example of how we live in bad faith.

Procrastination & The Science of Sin

I did an interview recently for an upcoming documentary entitled "The Science of Sin." Not surprisingly, I talked about sloth. Why it's considered sinful is worth some reflection.

Time Is All We Have: Carpe Diem!

Carpe diem. Seize the day. This expression has guided my life for many years. I seize every moment for what it's worth. Good thing. Last month, I was diagnosed with cancer.

Procrastination: Two Philosophers and a Psychologist Discuss Delay

The most often-read essay about procrastination on the Internet is entitled "Structured Procrastination" written by John Perry, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University. John is also the co-host of the popular Philosophy Talk radio show. On January 30th, I joined John and co-host Ken Taylor (Stanford) to talk about procrastination. Here are some highlights.

External Supports for Your Willpower

Typically, we think of the self-controlled person as one with tremendous willpower, incredible internal resources of self-discipline. The thing is, this individual's success may be more a matter of strategy than the traditional notion of strength. We can and do offload the burden of willpower to the environment to scaffold our success.

Last Minute Holiday Shopping, Procrastination and Planning: Tell Me More

I just finished an interview with Michel Martin of NPR's "Tell Me More" program. Our discussion was focused on last-minute holiday shopping, pre-recorded for airing on Christmas Eve, as last-minute as possible, of course. With that in mind, I thought I'd summarize a couple of studies that focus on procrastination, planning and holiday shopping.

Procrastination: Is Your Future Self Getting a Bad Deal?

Here's a common scene—a sink full of dirty dishes that I decide can wait until tomorrow, even though the hardened mess will be much more difficult to clean. If I were leaving this for someone else tomorrow, I might understand my procrastination on the task, but it's my future self for whom this task waits.

Get Out of the Procrastination Trap: The Role of Will, Choice and Virtue

If I lock the refrigerator to block my late-night snacking, I might have made a useful predecision to protect myself against my seemingly uncontrollable urges, but there's another route. I could try harder and exert my will. The "will" is an old notion that has resurfaced in an important way in recent writing about how we can resist procrastination.

Leveraging as a Strategy to Defeat Needless Delay

A lever is a powerful tool. The simple machine involves the strategic use of force at a distance from a fixed point (fulcrum) to gain mechanical advantage for lift. As depicted in the image, it would seem we can lift the world. Well, there's truth in this notion. We can leverage self-control to lift the weight of the world off our shoulders.

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