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Why You Do It, What to Do About It

Da Capo Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Do you procrastinate? Do you know why? This book gets at procrastination’s roots. Don’t procrastinate – read it.

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Approaching unwelcome tasks with an “I’ll do it tomorrow” mindset is not unusual behavior. The problem is, tomorrow quickly becomes today, so the procrastinator sets a new tomorrow goal. This tomorrow goal eventually becomes a next week goal, then a next month goal, then a next year goal – that is, a never goal. Time runs out for everyone, but it does so far more quickly for procrastinators. If you procrastinate, do you know why? Psychologists Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen outline the reasons and roots of procrastination. More importantly, they show you how to fix your vexing, life-sapping procrastination problem. getAbstract suggests that anyone who procrastinates should buy this book. Now would be fine.


Procrastination Isn’t a Laziness Issue

One in four adults tends to put things off until "tomorrow." Usually it does not stem from laziness, irresponsibility or lack of discipline. It comes from fear, emotion, lack of self-esteem, perfectionism, catastrophic thinking and even poor upbringing. Life’s challenges scare procrastinators, so they delay to shield themselves. This fear-generated thinking prevents them from moving ahead. Procrastination can involve unhelpful biological factors, including genetic inheritance, an inadequate sense of time or “wishful thinking.” Many procrastinators have mistaken ideas, such as, “I have to be perfect.” “Everything I do should go easily.” “I must avoid being challenged.” “It’s safer to do nothing than to take a risk and fail.” “If I do well this time, I must always do well.” Such all-or-nothing thinking constitutes the “Procrastinator’s Code.”

People who fear life or are unsure of their abilities tend to avoid challenges by delaying them so they don’t have to deal with external – or internal – criticism if they fail. After all, you can’t mess up if you never try. Procrastinators are often perfectionists who cannot tolerate doing...

About the Authors

Jane B. Burka, Ph.D., and Lenora M. Yuen, Ph.D., are psychologists who organized the first U.S. procrastination treatment group at the University of California at Berkeley.

Comment on this summary

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    S. G. 6 years ago
    Knowing my problem is half the problem solved for me. The authors make it easy by listing and explaining the variety of types of procrastination and how to overcome them.

    This summary is worth re-reading.
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    R. B. 1 decade ago
    Wow, explained me and my procrastination to a tee. Will get the book.
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    C. A. 1 decade ago
    You will find out why do you procastinate, and be able to take action in order to correct it.
    Great summary !!

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