Let My People Surf the Web - They'll Be More Productive!

Companies worry a lot about lost productivity. Some spend millions on software to block employees from using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or online shopping. A recent study questions this approach. In fact, a little surfing seems to increase productivity.

Procrastination Killer

Can your iPhone help you procrastinate less?

Procrastination Therapy: The Secret Ingredient for Success

Finally, the blog entry you've been waiting for, the secret ingredient to ending procrastination.

How to Overcome Obstacles to Goal Pursuit When That Obstacle

We've all seen it, if only in the movies - a coach detailing the plays for the football team. Deliberate strategies to get around obstacles to the goal. But what happens when the obstacle is you? What's your game plan?

Time Traveling to Reduce Procrastination (and "Tough Love" for Procrastinators)

We set the best of intentions for tomorrow with the belief that tomorrow will also bring the motivation to act. Some of these are new intentions, some "re-treads" as we procrastinate today. "I'll feel more like it tomorrow." Will you? Here are two strategies to help ensure you'll actually fulfill that intention.

Affective forecasting, intentions and why we procrastinate

We take action or make intentions for action believing that the action will make us feel better. This is the perceived hedonic consequence of future events. The trouble is, the research on affective forecasting shows that we're terrible at predicting how we will feel in the future. I think this is a key issue in understanding procrastination.

Academic Delay of Gratification, Motivation and Self-regulated Learning Strategies

Competing intentions. We all have them; Exercise as we intended, or spend another night as couch potato. A recent study on academic delay of gratification sheds some light on the self-regulatory skills and learning strategies that successful students use to delay gratification.

Self-affirmation: A Strategy to Reduce Self-control Failure

The research evidence across four new studies reveals the importance of affirming one's sense of self to bolster our depleted self-control. I think this research underscores the deeply existential issue of self-affirmation and "courage" in relation to the self-regulation failure we know as procrastination.

Proactive Coping: A Strategy for Self-regulation and Enhanced Well-being

Master Ugway to Master Shifu: "One often meets one's destiny while on the road taken to avoid it." 

"Don't Delay's" 1st Birthday: It's Time for a Change

My blog has its first birthday today, with this, my 100th post. It's been an interesting year of writing. Now it's time for a change.

Problematic Internet Use, Internet Procrastination and Flow

Is the time you spend online so excessive that it disrupts your social life or causes you physical harm? Are you using the Internet to avoid doing your real work? Do you get so "hooked" that you lose track of the amount of time that you spend online?

A Unified Framework for Addiction: Decision-Process Vulnerabilities and Procrastination

Based on a framework for addiction recently published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, philosopher, Chrisoula Andreou, has offered up ideas to consider in our understanding of procrastination. 

Parenting Style and Procrastination

Blame it on our parents. It's a common theme. Is it true for procrastination? Is parenting style related to adolescent procrastination? Yes, and there are some interesting gender differences.

Biased Planning and Procrastination

Successful pursuit of our goals begins with goal setting. The thing is, we're overly optimistic, often setting unrealistic time estimates for goal completion. One form of this optimism is known as the "planning fallacy."

A Procrastinating Student Defends her Position (and My Reply)

Andrea Millet wrote a piece that was published in the cordweekly.com yesterday. In it, she defends the last-minute efforts of the procrastinator. She writes, "Procrastination can be a helpful tool - it's not a fault but instead a skill, a carefully perfected strategy for motivation and focus." The problem is, she couldn't be more wrong.

A Panda's Lessons About Goal Setting

Master Shifu to Po, "You actually thought you could learn to do a full split in one night? It takes years to develop one's flexibility, and years longer to apply it in combat." Goal setting - without realistic goals, we're set up for failure before we start.

Intention-update vs. Intention-failure: What's the difference?

Not every changed intention is a failure of self-regulation. As one astute reader posted in a comment, we have to differentiate between updating an intention based on new information from simply failing to act on an intention. Let's take on this thorny philosophical issue.

Readers Drive Learning: Important Thoughts About Intentions and Choice

Readers' replies to "Zen, choice and procrastination" were insightful and stimulated further writing and learning on my part. Here are some important distinctions about changing our intentions or failing to act on them.

Second-hand Procrastination: How Your Procrastination May Harm Others

That's right, second-hand procrastination . . . when procrastinators finish their binge of work, social devastation lays all about.

Self-Forgiveness Reduces Procrastination

Some of our most recent research indicates that self-forgiveness plays a role in decreasing our procrastination. As the image says, "Forgiveness - we do it for ourselves to get well and move on." The interesting thing is that we may actually move on with the task we've been avoiding, like studying for that next exam!

East Meets West: Zen, Choice and Procrastination

I've been struck by the response to my posting about failing to follow an intention, like the story of sleeping instead of getting out for the early-morning run. Readers have said that I have it wrong. I see it differently. It's not about choice.

Older Fathers Take Note: A Reply to Paul Raeburn

As an older dad, Paul Raeburn's most recent blog, "More bad news on the risks faced by the children of older fathers" caught my interest. 

Return to Aristotle: Virtue, Self-Control and Even Some Greek Vocabulary

"So too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts." Peter Ubel quotes Aristotle in the final paragraphs of his book, Free Market Madness, with an appeal that we "Return to Aristotle."

Closing the Intention-Action Gap

An employee intends to get to work on time, but rarely does. A friend says he'll pick you up to take you to the airport the next morning, but fails to show up. You tell yourself that you'll begin exercising tomorrow morning, but tomorrow comes and goes without exercise. What do you think of each of these brief scenarios? What makes them similar yet different?

Feelings Trump Reasons: Irrationality and Procrastination

The alarm goes off at 5 a.m. Why? Because you set it last night with the intention of an early-morning run. Instead, you shut off the alarm, choosing the pleasures of sleep over the benefits of exercise. Peter Ubel writes, "No one could call this choice irrational." Not so. I can, and it's an irrationality that we know as procrastination.

Why Kids Procrastinate

What do we know about parenting and procrastination? 

A Mixture of Frailties (Part 2): How the Pendulum Swings

I'm reading Dr. Peter Ubel's new book, Free Market Madness: Why human nature is at odds with economics and why it matters. It is excellent. It does for behavioral economics what Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink did for other aspects of social psychology. 

Optimism and Perceived Competence: Resilience Resources

The psychology of self-regulation includes a focus on personal attributes that make us less vulnerable to stress and its adverse effects. This includes notions of optimism and competence. To what extent are optimism and competence the same thing? When does competence trump optimism or vice versa as we cope in life?

Human Nature: A Mixture of Frailties

Some further thoughts on the problematic assumption of rationality.

Perseveration: The Deep Rut of Change Procrastination

Although we often think of procrastination as putting off a necessary task, procrastination can reveal itself in perseveration - sticking to a task long after we should have stopped. We stick to a well worn path even when we know this path doesn't lead to our desired destination. We make a deep rut in our lives and lack the courage to change.