The procrastination pandemic - Macleans.ca
 

The procrastination pandemic

25% of the population are chronic procrastinators


 

With  about a quarter of the population guilty of being chronic procrastinators, the problem has reached pandemic levels, a University of Calgary psychologist argues in his recent book, the Procrastination Equation.

Impulsiveness is the most common character trait associated with procrastination, and it is the temptations provided by computers that are the chief  contemporary culprits, says Piers Steel. “It’s almost like having a casino, a strip club and a games room all in the same place. It’s all right beside you. The second you have an inkling or a feeling, a wavering or a tendency, you can indulge in it instantly,” he told the Canadian Press. “For some people, this means not getting a degree. Or certainly not living up to their potential about what type of mark they got, what type of job they could get into.”

In addition to choosing short term desires, over long term goals, Steel says low confidence and boring tasks are also principle reasons why people procrastinate. Among Steel’s tips to improve productivity are to turn off email notifiers and cell phones.


 
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The procrastination pandemic

  1. I’ll read this later.

  2. “guilty of being chronic procrastinators”. Really? I find you guilty of imposing your half-baked judgments on me, and that’s not a healthy relationship, especially now that I’m not going to read your book.

  3. I’m procrastinating right now, in all seriousness. I’m one of the 25% for sure.

  4. If it gives me hairy palms, then count me out! Procrastibation can wait til later.

  5. What a waste of time, I’ll finish it later after I figure out whats for dinner.

  6. I was gonna read this but I just got a text

  7. I’ll read this later …

  8. sigh…i have not decided if i procrastinate!
    perhaps i am indecisive?

    still not sure!

  9. Why read it today when u can read it tomorrow!!

  10. Seriously – maybe the “work every single human being to death their entire lives” mind set is the real problem and people are finally starting to slow down? If the authors thesis is correct, then isn’t this the logical result of the free market economy? Giving people what the ability to buy the best of breed in an effort to satisfy their own hedonism? I guess by extension, capitalism is the problem.

    The book sounds worth reading, but I can’t help but sense that “procrastination” is being scape-goated when all that’s really happening is that people want to enjoy their lives instead of driving so insanely hard. I’ll give it a read.

    On another note, it was really awesome to see the raft of totally apathetic thoughtless comments thrown down with absolutely no contribution. Maybe that’s an impulse control problem too?

  11. I’ll get right back to this article in a few minutes after I read a joke that a friend just emailed to me.

  12. Alright, i’ll bite, i’ll read this book but i’m definitely not going to pay for it (since they probably paid good money to have this nice advertisement posted for them).

    I don’t think cellphones and emails lead to people procrastinating… I think it’s a lack of self control to stay focused on the task at hand.