If you get around to reading this
That's OK, I totally understand.
You've got places to go, people to see, things to do and a genetically hard wired tendency to put off doing them.
To delay is human. A whopping 95 per cent of us admit to procrastinating to some extent, and apparently the real reasons we do so can be traced to the structure of our brains, which explains why the so called "thief of time" is seen in every culture and throughout history.
But we can't pin it all on neurobiology. The environment may not be responsible for procrastination's existence, but you can bet your Blackberry that it's partly to blame for its current level of intensity.
According to one of the world's leading experts on why and how we waste time, modern life pandora rings online has unleashed a Pandora's Box of tempting distractions, all offering attractive alternatives to the daily grind.
Chronic procrastination has increased five fold since the 1970s, he notes, from about five per cent of the population to nearly 25 per cent.
"Our genetic profile hasn't changed in the last 30 years, it's our environment that has changed," Steel said during a recent phone interview.
"Now we have the Internet and PDAs (personal digital assistants). We have so many temptations today that are so much more powerful and instantly available."
Procrastination is basically "an evolutionary mismatch" between who we needed to be in the past and who we need to be now, Steel says.
"The linchpin is that we value the now incredibly more than the later, so we value immediate rewards more than long term rewards. It's hard wired into all species, pretty much.
"Procrastination has to do with how impulsive we are, not our level of perfectionism. That's where we've been making a huge mistake," says Steel.
Based on tens of thousands of participants it's actually the best researched topic in the field perfectionism produces a negligible amount of procrastination, pandora bracelet official website according to the book. Perfectionists, in fact, were less likely to procrastinate.
They are, however, more likely to feel bad about whatever they're putting off, says Steel, and so they're more motivated to seek clinical help.
"Individuals who are perfectionists and who feel anxious over a deadline may think it's their anxiety causing them to put it off, but what they don't realize is that there are even more perfectionists out there who, when they feel anxious, take it as their cue to get going."
The pandora bracelet charms cheap failure to get going that's present in procrastination isn't to be confused with the feet dragging of laziness, however. Unlike the truly slothful, Steel says, procrastinators want to complete the tasks they're putting off and they usually do, but not without a lot of struggle.
And it's not just any delay, but an irrational one that qualifies as procrastination. "You're knowingly and willingly pandora charms for sale putting off a course of action while fully expecting to be worse off for doing so," Steel explains.
But you produce your best work when you're under the gun, you say?
Steel isn't buying it. "Procrastinators do better under pressure, in the final hour," he says, "but they still do worse overall.
"It's a little bit like smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. It calculates the desirability of a task by multiplying the expectancy of succeeding at it by the value of completing it, divided by the immediacy of the task multiplied by the individual's sensitivity to delay.
Email currently takes up 40 per cent of work life, Piers says, with most people checking their inbox 40 to 50 times a day. "Banishing e mail notifications will make you about 10 per cent more efficient and over a year that translates into one more month of productivity," he writes in The Procrastination Equation.
Some professions are more prone to time wasting than others. "Anything with distant deadlines and a lot of nearby temptations," says Steel. Even worse are jobs that are "motivationally vacuous" meaning there aren't a lot of measurable rewards poorly supervised, have little or no consequences for goofing off, and lack any type of intrinsic motivation. Stock clerks have the highest level of procrastination, with sales job also ranking near the top.
"With depressed people, 60 per cent of the time, you're going to find that they were anxious first. You're also going to find that in many cases, they delayed or put off a variety of things they might have otherwise done in order to deal with the anxiety," Knaus says.
His new book, End Procrastination Now, outlines a three pronged program based on cognitive, emotive and behavioural techniques.
Knaus argues that perfectionism, as well as fear of failure and a tendency to base one's worth on one's performance, is often at the heart of procrastination problems that send people to therapy.
The question that Steel, an academic with little direct clinical experience, should be exploring, he says, is what is the origin of the procrastinator's impulsiveness.
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