Category Archives: Procrastination, Types of

Are You A Christmas-Shopping Procrastinator?

Girl holding Christmas hours.

Are you one? Do you know one? Check out the poll below – and let us know what you think!

* * * * *

Here’s an interesting tidbit of procrastination-related information: a company named X-Ad has published research that indicates that on-line searches for store locations, hours and specific retail items occur 24% more often on Christmas Eve than on Black Friday. This phenomenon is said to be attributable to – what else? – buyer procrastination.

The editorial article in SDExec where I read about this study suggests that the advent of internet-based devices is allowing people to put off their gift purchases to the last minute due to the ease with which they can now locate stores and specific articles when they are running out of time. But Christmas-shopping procrastination has been habitual for a significant segment of the population since long before the internet, so I wonder if the tendency to shop at the last minute is actually increasing or is just more traceable today.

What do you think?

  • Are you a Christmas-shopping procrastinator? (Do you know one?)
  • Have mobile devices have made your (their) shopping procrastination habits worse? (Contribute to the poll below!)
  • Are you (they) going to avoid leaving everything to the last minute again this year?
  • Are you reading this blog post when you should be shopping?

Procrastination in the News (1)

In Defense of Procrastination Walters

The online journal Quartz has published an interesting article entitled “The Complete Guide to Procrastinating at Work,” although I do think its title somewhat overstates its content.

The author, Anna Codrea-Rado, offers eight points relating to procrastination, some of them intriguing (Joseph F. Ferrari, an expert in the field, says that there are two types of procrastinators – those who delay decisions and those who delay actions), some worrisome (it includes a link to an article that advises employers how to avoid hiring procrastinators), and some consoling (it suggests that maybe our procrastination tendencies have been instilled in us by the school system or other childhood circumstances and are not some gigantic personal failure after all).

Ms. Codrea-Rado asks, “Can procrastinating ever be a source of productivity?” and of course I would answer that question with a hearty affirmative – that is, in fact, the whole point of the book that I am (fairly soon) about to start constructing here before your eyes. However, I do take small issue with this apparent guidance:

The Creativity Research Journal studied the working habits of a particularly intelligent group of people, winners of the Intel Science Talent competition. They found the group procrastinated productively. Some used procrastination as a trigger for a helpful amount of stress needed to ignite positive action. Others saw it as a “thought incubator”: They put off making a decision because they wanted to fully process it before finding a solution.

The problem, as I see it, is that if you are delaying intentionally, you are not in fact procrastinating. There is a certain lack of power on the part of the person who is procrastinating, at least in my experience: When we are doing it, it has hold of us, rather than the other way around.

Although I did interview one professor, Dr. John Perry at Stanford, who has developed a whole protocol for “Structured Procrastination.” More on that later. (Or you can Google him, or even check out his book, if you are looking to kill a bit more time right now.)