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.
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?
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.
Caroline Adams Miller has it right, I think. Social-networking tools like Facebook and Twitter undermine us. The late cultural critic Neil Postman had some straight talk for all of us about the role of technology in our lives.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. This saying is attributed to Freud. I don't know if he really said it, but it doesn't matter. The message is valid in any case. My adaptation of this classic phrase is "Sometimes a delay is just a delay." Don't beat yourself up.
Tired, self-regulatory control depleted from an exhausting day that demanded non-stop self-control, we may give up and give in. Like a tired muscle, our willpower seems unable to do any more. However, with the right incentive we can exert our physical strength even with tired muscles. And, so it is with our willpower . . . it’s about motivation, isn’t it?
"This is scary advice, advice that can give you a difficult and interesting life." I am re-reading a favorite book, Radical Presence: Teaching as contemplative practice. I highly recommend this book to any teacher. My blog title and opening quote are taken from page 43 of this book. I think this advice has a lot to do with procrastination.
That's some bicep. If only our willpower looked so well developed. Given that recent research portrays willpower like a muscle, and one easily exhausted it seems, we may need to learn more about "willpower bodybuilding" or other strategies to bolster our self-regulatory strength and reduce our procrastination.
As an older dad, I hear this a lot, "Well, they'll keep you young." It may be that people who encounter older dads don't know anything else (polite) to say. The thing is, the psychology of action and goal pursuit would indicate that they might be right. We're only as old as our life tasks.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
"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.
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.
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?
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.