When I was a kid, I was such a bad procrastinator that my mother actually cut a circle out of a piece of paper, wrote “TUIT” in big letters on it and said, “Okay, there’s your ’round tuit’…NOW will you clean your room?!?” A study by Dr. Piers Steel, ten years in the making, was recently published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin to address this very issue that the world has been putting off. The study is entitled, “The Nature of Procrastination: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review of Quintessential Self-Regulatory Failure.”
According to Science Daily, Dr. Steel has concluded that:
- Most people’s New Year’s resolutions are doomed to failure
- Most self-help books have it completely wrong when they say perfectionism is at the root of procrastination, and
- Procrastination can be explained by a single mathematical equation
Predictably, the article cites technology as a factor. As the Kansas City Star quotes Dr. Steel:
“That stupid game Minesweeper — that probably has cost billions of dollars for the whole society,” he said.
Is procrastination an issue for you, too? For me, I find that I have absolutely no trouble with doing the important things in a timely manner. Give me a deadline, and I’ll stick to the schedule without fail. It’s the less important items with open deadlines that I struggle with.
What do you think is the root cause of procrastination? Too much tech? Willpower? Genetics?