Am I Too Busy to Live My Own Life?

Do you remember Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22? Even if you don't, I think you might recognize how many of us play out the paradoxical "catch" in our lives daily. Desperately in need of more time with family or friends, or time for exercise or a therapeutic relationship, the situations that create our need seem to prevent us from getting what we need.


I will never do this again. I can't believe I've done this to myself again. Not true. Relapse is more the rule than the exception. Planning on it, accepting it, moving on, are key elements to a successful strategy for change.

If You Haven't Done the Time (Don't Count on the Happiness)

In a consumer-oriented society, we think that money can buy everything. Here's an example that shows this just isn't true. In fact, Julian Boulle, famed South African skydiver and birdman put it simply as, "If you haven't done the time, you just can't get there."

The Procrastinator's Digest: My New Book Is Now Available

My sabbatical ended June 30th. It was a wonderful year for reading and writing. Among my writing projects was a short book—The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle. This blog post includes the introductory chapter of the book. It provides an overview of my approach and what you can expect.

2 More Tips for Beating Writer's Block

When I see something about writer's block, I immediately think of Robert Boice's work on procrastination and blocking. He has also written an excellent book about new faculty. Here are two more strategies to add to Bill Knaus' list of tips based on Boice's research.

Procrastination Can Make You Happy?

Does procrastination make us happy? Does it improve performance? The short answer from the accumulated research literature is "no" on both accounts. So, why does this myth persist?

Why Understanding Batting Averages Is Important

I often meet people struggling with change in their lives, particularly around procrastinating less, and they are discouraged. They feel that they fail more often than they succeed. The thing is, this might still define success, even excellence. It does in baseball.

How Can I Learn to Eat Healthier Snacks?

In the most recent issue of the journal Health Psychology, there are two studies that explored how we can develop and maintain more healthy snacking habits. Not surprisingly, knowing that it's good for us is not enough for long-term success.

Doing a Full Pomodoro: Give Me a Break, Please!

Do a pomodoro. The tomato that's a verb. Sure, the technique has merits, but be careful not to miss the point. Technique is never enough.

The Procrastination Field or Why I Finally Cleaned Out My Fridge

Oh, the strange things that we do when we know we don't have time to take a break (but we do). While not working, we find ourselves maintaining a readiness to work, dramatizing our commitment to work, trying to convince the world and ourselves that we are not really off task. 

The Dark Side of Conscientiousness: Life Satisfaction in the Face of Unemployment

A soon-to-be-published longitudinal study of 9,570 individuals revealed that conscientiousness has a dark side following unemployment. This is one of the first instances of research documenting that conscientiousness is not always good for well-being.

How Does Personality Influence Blog Writing and Reading?

A study in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies indicates that blog text presents consistent, readable cues about the blog author's personality. In addition, readers are more attracted to authors they think are similar in personality to themselves. So, which blogs are you reading here on Psychology Today?

What Are the Most Popular Goals in the World?

43 Things is the world's largest goal-setting community. It's a virtual place where people gather to list their goals. Really. Want to know what the "world's most popular goals" are? I did.

Why Procrastinators Aren't Very Happy

Although it would seem that procrastination should make us happier, as we're avoiding a task we'd rather not do, research consistently demonstrates that higher scores on procrastination are associated with lower scores on well-being and higher scores on measures of stress. Here's one reason procrastination doesn't buy happiness.

The Pernicious Perils of Perfectionism

Do you tend to ruminate on things? Generalize your failures to other tasks or situations? Pay too much attention to errors? Interpret ambiguous feedback as criticism? If so, you may have a problem with perfectionism. A new study reveals that a basic personality trait plays an important role in understanding this maladaptive approach to life.

Learning from our Limitations: Lance's Lesson

Sometimes, the most important lessons in life are the most difficult to learn. One of these lessons is about how much we can learn from our limitations; how learning to cope with and overcome our limitations can make us better.

Are Your Goals Value Congruent?

If our goals are not well aligned with our values or our sense of self, we're more likely to procrastinate. Value congruence and self-identity are part of our sense of the overall personal meaning of our goals. Our latest research indicates that low meaning is related to higher procrastination.

To Name it is to Tame It

Habits are tough, but we can change.

I'll Go to Therapy, Eventually

A new study suggests that procrastinators, younger people, males, and those overly concerned about their own social desirability are less likely to seek help with mental health concerns.

Adolescent Procrastination

Carl Pickhardt's recent blog posting about adolescent procrastination and stress certainly underscores the long-term consequences of this "do-it-at-the-last-minute" habit. Parenting, development and time management all play a role in adolescent procrastination. 

Procrastination and the Planning Fallacy

I've been enjoying reading Heidi Grant Halvorson's blog, The Science of Success. It interests me, because we both have our focus on successful goal pursuit. In her latest entry, she discussed the planning fallacy as one of our biases that can affect our task engagement. 

Procrastination: Feeling Overwhelmed, Helpless and Ready to Run Away

For the size of the wave, it's surprising how it catches us by surprise. You'd think we'd see it coming. Yet, each time we sit down to begin a difficult task that we'd rather avoid, here it comes - a huge tidal wave of negative emotions that overwhelms us. We feel incompetent. We feel like an imposter. We want to run away.

Time Management, Willpower, Success: A Source for Really Busy People

Have you ever wanted to read all of the self-help books you've seen on airport bookstore shelves, but lacked the time? Then this series of books may be just the thing for you. It's the "Coles Notes" of the self-help and motivational literature.

Appetite and Attitude: A powerful example of positive thinking

I don't know anyone with more tenacity than Lance Mackey when it comes to goal pursuit. A cancer survivor with the odds stacked against him in many ways, Lance simply set his sights on his goal - 1st place in what is known as the "Last Great Race on Earth" - the Iditarod. On Tuesday, March 16, 2010, Lance Mackey made dog mushing history winning his 4th consecutive Iditarod race. What can we learn from Lance? It's about appetite and attitude.

The Personality of the Workaholic and the Issue of "Self"

A study published this month explored the personality of workaholics. Of interest was the relation of narcissism and workaholism. 

Just Mush!

Sam Deltour is one of 72 mushers who entered the annual Iditarod Sled Dog race this year. This young man has some practical advice from the trail that can benefit us all when we face challenges in life.

Will You Remember to Read This Post Later When You Have Time?

A study published this month indicates that people who report that they manage their time well also report having good prospective and retrospective memory. Setting goals and priorities as well as a preference for being organized was also related to better memory.

March 4th! - It's National Procrastination Week

It's March fourth, and, of course, time to "march forth" right into the middle of National Procrastination Week. I suppose you could say it's ironic. I'm sure many see it as funny. I just think the farcical week reflects a misunderstanding of the difference between delay and procrastination. 

Stumbling on Meaning, Finding Happiness on the Way

In my last post, I presented my take on the cost of balance in life. Without thinking about it, at least without over-analyzing it, I ended my post by addressing my own particular "blend" of balance: work, play and love. It took another Psychology Today blogger to explain to me why I had arrived where I have. This is the blend for a meaningful life.

Thoughts on a Balanced Life

We marvel at good balance whether in nature, athletic pursuits or in our day-to-day lives. In our lives, balance is often advocated as a way to live more healthily and to decrease stress. If you are striving for balance, it's important to understand that it comes at a cost.