Mindful Moments: Stories and Lessons of Procrastination

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Archive for January 2010

1 of 5 adults delay starting everything.

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Behavioral Psychology is still as much art as science. Before a treatment can begin an appropriate diagnosis is critical. So it’s no surprise that psychologists have come up with classifications for different types of procrastination patterns.

Someone who starts most things on time, but puts off writing emails, might be referred to as a ”situational procrastinator”. That covers most of us. But a sizable chunk of the normal adult population are instead described as ”chronic” or ”dispositional” procrastinators.

According to Joseph R Ferrari, who wrote chapter two of Coping With Stress: Effective People and Processes, chronic procrastinators put off almost everything they can get away with. And 20% of the normal adult population are chronic procrastinators!

“Although chronic procrastinators engage in situational delays, situational procrastinators do not necessarily delay chronically across all different types of tasks. (13). Besides situational forms of procrastination, there are some procrastinators for whom frequent delays have become their way of life. Harriott and Ferrari (14)… found that approximately 20% of the normal adult population engages in frequent, chronic procrastination. This figure is equally applicable to both men and women. People also have self-identified themselves as tending to delay the start and completion of numerous daily tasks. For example, procrastinators report delays responding to phone messages, buying gifts and sport/concert tickets, doing the dishes, and the laundry… they don’t make decision on where to eat out, what movies to see, or how to dress for a social event; instead, they let others make those decision for them. They also miss doctor’s appointment and fail to pay bills on time. These people would be labeled as dispositional or chronic procrastinators.” (p. 31, 32)


Written by clayward

January 18, 2010 at 5:08 am

Posted in research, theory