Procrastination, Guilt, Excuses and the Road Less Traveled

"People seldom do what they believe in," said Bob Dylan. "They do what is convenient, then repent." I agree with the first part, but there's more to it than repentance, including: distraction, forgetting, trivialization, self-affirmation and denial of responsibility to name a few. 

When Negative Thoughts Invade

Millions of us world wide learned a great deal from Professor Randy Pausch with his "Last Lecture." Here's some hard-earned insight from Jai Pausch, Randy's wife, that can also benefit all of us. It certainly means a lot to me.

Facebooking at Work: A Brief Commentary

Pamela Rutledge's comments about the Positive Psychology perspective on creating appropriate social media usage in the workplace doesn't make sense to me. In fact, I think it's positively wishful thinking.

A Procrastinator's Story: Adult ADD, Life-long Habits & Irrational Thinking

I received a letter from a reader today. With his consent, I'm sharing this letter here on the blog, as it's an insightful, well-written (at times painful) first-hand account of coming to grips with procrastination.

Want to Make Sure You Act on an Intention?: Tell a Friend (Maybe Lots of Them)

Designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio every seven years for a year-long sabbatical. How did he ensure he would actually take the time off as planned? What can we learn from him about making sure we act on our intentions?

Savoring the Flavors of Delay

"Is a poet still a poet if he spends most of his time sitting in a white plastic chair in his driveway? If he promises to write an introduction to a poetry anthology but avoids writing and instead riffs on poetry and poems, digressing to the point of absurdity?" A lot of writing involves an apparent delay, but it's not necessarily procrastination. 

Discomfort Intolerance: Why We Might Give in to Feel Good

Irrational beliefs are central to the theory of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and these beliefs are hypothesized to play a role in procrastination.

Economic Stimulus Spending, an Aging Workforce: Political Procrastination Will Deepen the Debt

The economic hole of indebtedness that we're creating now will be worsened by the baby boomers departing the workforce and the increasing costs of health care to seniors. The issue is political procrastination or ignorance, or both.

Quirks of the Brain: Procrastination's Perfect Storm

I enjoyed reading David Rock's blog posting about why all self-help books are the same. I think he clearly identified some of the "quirks" of our brains. His short list paints a picture of the perfect storm for procrastination.

A Sagacious Delay

All procrastination is delay, but not all delay is procrastination. 

Regulating Your Emotions

What can we learn from research on self-regulation that might help us with our emotion regulation? Implementation intentions can be used strategically to influence what emotions we might experience. This interests me because regulating emotions successfully can foster more effective self-regulation and less procrastination.

Getting into a Productive Work Zone

There may be certain dimensions of tasks that make procrastination more likely. In an achievement-oriented context like school or the workplace, a balance between challenge and skill may be particularly important. Get this balance right, and you may get into your own work zone. Get it wrong, and it could contribute to needless delay.

Cherish These Moments; They Go by too Quickly.

As a parent wearily pushes the shopping cart around the supermarket, two kids wiggling their way out of their seats, a passerby (often an older person) smiles and says, "cherish these moments." What parent hasn't heard that before? The comment is the truth, of course, but it means more than the obvious moment.

Twitter-Speak: Adding a Vocabulary Item

Tweople know twitter-speak. Here's my addition to the growing dictionary of twitterific terms.

Control Me or I Will Control You

Self-control is one of the most important attributes that we can develop. Impulsivity is one of our worse liabilities. A study soon to be published in the Journal of Research in Personality explores the interaction of impulsivity and self-control in the prediction of some common behaviors - eating potato chips and drinking alcohol.

Mindfulness and Task Persistence: Not All Self-awareness Is a Good Thing

A new study provides further evidence for the important role of mindfulness in self-regulatory success. The tendency to respond non-judgmentally and to be non-reactive to our thoughts and feelings was related to increased persistence on a difficult task.

AudioBoo - Part Podcast, Part Blog, Part Tweet

Gotta an iPhone and a few minutes? Then audioBoo.

Active Procrastination: Thoughts on Oxymorons

Oxymoron - a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. We are all familiar with common oxymorons: jumbo shrimp, boneless ribs, deafening silence or sweet sorrow, for example. Here's my favorite, "active procrastination." 

Repulsion - A Step Towards More Successful Self-Regulation?

A pediatrician who reports being helpless against the forces of a chocolate chip cookie has something to teach us all about self-regulation.

Why Are You so Impulsive?

"I spend a lot of time thinking about my own strengths and weaknesses.""I often compare myself with other people."If these statements describe you, you may be interested in the results of a new study that indicates that you are more likely to be impulsive and anxious.

A Writer's Advice - Just Get Started

A freelance writer speaks about the secret to success. His message, avoid avoidance.

Anticipating One's Troubles: The Elusive Benefits of Negative Expectations

"He who suffers before it is necessary suffers more than is necessary" (Seneca, Roman essayist, philosopher, playwright, C. 4 B.C.- A.D.65) A recent study in the journal Emotion provides support for the cost of anticipating one's troubles. It's a cost and kind of suffering procrastinators know all too well.

Procrastination and a "Good Death"

It's common to procrastinate about having some conversations. Death is one of these. The trouble is, "there are many costs of not having this conversation" (Evans, May 19, 2009).

Meaning to Get to It: Procrastination and the Art of Life

". . . I might as well stop putting life off for later. Because that's what I've been meaning to do, that's what I've been meaning to be." Therein lies his title, "meaning to get to it." This is profoundly important, I think.

Twitter: A Giant Feathery Puff of Hype

Here's the problem with talking about social networks. Everybody wants to make them into something that they're not. At least, that's what Ivor Tossell thinks. If you've got 6 minutes and 20 seconds, you'll enjoy this podcast, "Mystery of the social media expert."

Increasing Emotional Intelligence, Decreasing Procrastination

A study published this month demonstrated that a 4-week program increased emotion identification and management. Our most recent research revealed a strong negative relation between emotional intelligence and procrastination. This may be a new avenue for procrastination intervention.

Tweeting and the Economics of Attention

Everyone is all a titter about Twitter at Princeton this Fox News story reports. But the associate director of the Center for Information Technology Policy at the university is reported to have said that he thought Twitter served primarily as a distraction for most of the site's users.

Twitter: A Desultory Behavior

It took a major economic meltdown for us to recognize the problem with greed in the free market. I wonder what it's going to take for us to recognize the problem with desultory behavior created by social-networking technologies?

Email "Addicts" Need This Creative Commitment Device

There is an almost irresistible pull to that signal, and although it varies from program to program, it means the same thing, "you've got mail!" It's really a necessary task, but for far too many people it's become a problem. It's not a new problem, but that's part of the problem, email is everywhere, so the problem grows. Here's a simple solution that works.

Tween Time Management: Personality, Gender & School Performance

Time management: the completion of tasks within an expected timeframe while maintaining quality through planning, organizing, prioritizing or multitasking. A study to be published next month provides insight into what this means for 12 year olds.