Why Put Off A "Songs Of Procrastination" Post Now, When I Can Do It Later?
Andy said a lot of things, I stored them all away in my head
Sometimes when I can't decide what I should do
I think what would Andy have said
He'd probably say you think too much
That's 'cause there's work that you don't want to do
- "Work", Lou Reed and John Cale
Who could delay reading an article with a sexy title like "The Nature of Procrastination: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review of Quintessential Self-Regulatory Failure"? Possibly those who want to ponder whether the article is likely worth the whopping $11.95 the American Psychological Association charges non-members to "access" it.
If you take an afternoon to research the article, make a list of the pros and cons of the purchase, and decide to think about it next weekend, you may be one of the alleged estimated 15-20% of people who procrastinate.
And tough luck, Lucy (or whatever your name is). According to Dr. Piers Steel, the Haskayne School of Business professor whose expensive research was published in the APA's Psychological Bulletin, procrastinators do not tend to be perfectionists. Steel says, "perfectionists actually procrastinate less, but they worry about it more." They may be impulsive people who are easily distracted though. Steel ponders a connection to addiction.
But here's a question... to meet Steel's definition of procrastination, "a person must believe it would be better to start working on given tasks immediately, but still not start." In my scenario, you did research, but put off the decision. Did you procrastinate, by his definition?
At least in press release form, the theories could perhaps have benefited from more perfectionism and procrastination - but wait, there's math! Steel devised the Temporal Motivational Theory. Use it to predict the likelihood of procrastination. Dazzle your family, friends, and officemates!
E - the expectancy a person has of succeeding with a given task
V - the value of completing the task
U - the desirability of the task
* - its immediacy or availability
D - and the person's sensitivity to delay.
*: Utility = E x V/*D
Some of his conclusions seem just right, though possibly obvious:
- The saying "Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right" is true!
- Most people fail at their New Year's Resolutions. (Doesn't everyone know that? That's why I never make them.)
While I'd like to delay this post long enough to add at least Bent's "Thinking Of You (While I Should Be Working)"... this'll have to for "songs of procrastination":
Lou Reed & John Cale - Work (available on Songs for Drella)
Ani DiFranco - School Night (available on Revelling/Reckoning. Brilliant lyrics.)
The Like - Too Late (available on Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?)
Brand New - Failure By Design (available on Your Favorite Weapon)
Chairmen of the Board - Give Me Just A Little More Time (available on Have A Nice Decade: The '70s Pop Culture Box)
Saint Etienne - Last Orders For Gary Stead (available on Tales From Turnpike House)
Sloan - Waiting For Slow Songs (available on Between The Bridges)
The Ditty Bops - Get Up 'N' Go (available on Moon Over The Freeway)