Science, Free Will and Determinism: I Think We're Coloring Outside the Lines.

I suppose if there truly were free will I wouldn't be writing this. I certainly feel compelled to add to this discussion. My point, we're coloring outside the lines.

Self-regulation Failure (Part 1): Goal Setting and Monitoring

The simplest way to think about a self-regulating system is how your thermostat functions with your furnace. As simple as this may be, this model does speak to our own ability for self-regulation, and it's a good place to start this discussion about when self-regulation fails. 

Fear of Failure

It was an exciting day in our research group. Adam presented the preliminary analyses of his thesis data. His study provides some interesting insight into the relationship between fear of failure and procrastination. 

Approaching Success, Avoiding the Undesired: Does Goal Type Matter?

Approach-oriented goals involve reaching or maintaining desired outcomes. Avoidance goals focus on avoiding or eliminating undesired outcomes. Although both types of goals are common in our lives and both are functional, one goal-type is associated with more happiness than the other. I also think that there's something to learn about procrastination here.

The Last Lecture: Wisdom About Time Management

Stuck in the airport returning home from an emotionally exhausting day, tired and fighting an awful chest cold, my flight delayed to the wee hours of the morning, I stretched out on the seats in the waiting area with Randy Pausch's book, "The Last Lecture." His lecture, his life, has some important messages regarding our goal pursuit. 

Psychology and Why Evolutionary Theory Fails to Satisfy (Me)

Psychology has a lofty goal - explaining, perhaps even predicting, human behavior. Can we do it? I think this picture teaches us that it is unlikely that we'll meet this goal, at least at the level of the individual's life. 

"Don't Delay" Highlights: A Reader's Summary

Bloggers blog about everything, even other blogs. If you're new to the "Don't Delay" Blog, you may want to read this post. It's written by a reader, and he has done a very good job of summarizing some of the major themes in my postings to date.

Want to Start a Task Sooner? Make it Concrete!

A recent study published in Psychological Science reveals a simple answer to getting tasks done. Make it concrete!

A Recipe for Happiness or Procrastination?

A  story today in the New Zealand Herald reports that the CALM (Computer Assisted Learning Method) Web site allows students to download audio files that provide information about long-lasting happiness - ways to harness mental resilience, healthy relationships and finding meaning in life. 

New Year's Resolutions in a Leap Year: One Day Down and still 365 to Go!

The new year has arrived. If this year held the promise of a new intention (or an old one revisited), how's it going? Did your intention become action today?

Holiday Shopping and Procrastination

A National Retail Federation survey found that shoppers have completed less of their holiday shopping this year than at the same time last year and that 41 million Americans have yet to even start, reports Dallas Cook (December 16, 2008).  Are you putting off your holiday shopping? Why?

Enhancing Your Interest in a Task Affects Energy and Action

"I break complex projects down into smaller tasks, and plan the order in which I will perform these tasks.""If an activity gets boring, I can usually find a way to make it fun again."A recent study indicates that people who endorse statements like these as typical of them are less likely to procrastinate.  

Procrastination Tax: It's Not Punishment Enough, Why?

There isn't much doubt about it. We pay for our procrastination. With such punishing consequences, you'd think we'd learn. Why don't we?

Resisting Temptation: Short-term Gain & Long-term Pain of External Control

We all get tempted away from the task at hand. Who resists this temptation? Does external control help us resist temptation? How well we resist temptation and the effects of external control depend on aspects of our personality.

The Trouble with Tips

Reader feedback was swift and accurate. Tips on how to beat procrastination, or tips for most things in fact, simply don't provide a magic cure. Yet, we're hooked on tips. Why do we want them? When do they work? When don't they?

3 Tips to Reduce Procrastination Today!

In a recent interview for a British magazine, I was asked for three tips to reduce procrastination. Given that readers of this blog may not read the magazine, I thought I would share these tips here.

Goal Orientation, Task Difficulty and Task Interest: Effects on Setting Personal Goals

What factors influence the types of goals we set? Will I aim to excel or just get by? Of course, both person and situation variables interact in the process of goal setting. This recent study helps us understand a little more about 3 factors that influence goal setting.

Viktor Frankl on Procrastination

In his autobiography published (in German) in March 1995 to coincide with his 90th birthday, Dr. Viktor Frankl reflected on "The Manner of My Work."

In Search of the Arousal Procrastinator

Are sensation seekers procrastinators? Are they putting things off to get that last minute rush? The evidence is mixed, but they say that they are.

Procrastination and Death: Conference Postscript

 My final day at the conference for the International Network on Personal Meaning (INPM) provoked further thoughts about death and procrastination.

Living Well & Dying Well: Some Reflections on Regret, Grief and Procrastination

 I'm writing from Toronto while attending the 5th biennial international conference on personal meaning. 

I Can Start that Manuscript Next Week, Can't I?

Not everyone who procrastinates in starting a task or project procrastinates in completing it and vice versa. 

Meeting Deadlines in Work Groups: Implications for the Workplace

Does your team meet its deadlines? What helps bring a group together to succeed?

Keeping the Seat of One's Pants on the Seat of the Chair

When it comes to many of our tasks, keeping the seat of our pants on the seat of our chair is a necessary first step to getting the job done. Once we get up and leave that chair, we leave our work too. 

Uncertainty, Emotion & Task Delay: I May Have Fear, but I Need Not be My Fear

In a recent discussion with a friend about procrastination, he said, "I find I always procrastinate when I don't know what to do next." The research literature reflects his personal experience, uncertainty is related to procrastination, but it's more than just not knowing what to do next. As I said in response to him, "It may also be about how the uncertainty makes you feel."

Patch Adams on Procrastination

Today, I was involved in an all-day event sponsored by gctraining.ca. The focus was on "Finding Joy in Life: Living each day to the fullest." I spoke about procrastination and how it serves to undermine our well-being. Patch Adams spoke about laughter, choice and living a life of joy. I asked Patch what he thought of a potential gap between intention and action. Here's what he said.

I am Procrastinating By Reading these Blogs: The Survey Results

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a simple question in an online survey here on my blog: To what extent are you procrastinating right now by reading these blogs?

Talk of the Procrast-i-Nation: Our Reasons for Delay

The conversation today was fascinating, as it went in so many directions. 

Procrastination: Talk of the Nation

 If you're interested in hearing more about procrastination, tune into NPR Talk of the Nation today at 3 p.m. ET. 

Worry Helps me Cope: A Metacognitive Belief Linked to Procrastination

There's more than one type of procrastination. We can needlessly delay tasks - behavioral procrastination. We can also needlessly delay making decisions - decisional procrastination.

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