• Applicable


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.

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