April 30, 2005

Procrastination: The Number One Problem

I've been receiving lots of great ideas and feedback from my feedback form/assessment called Web Site Features Survey. One of the most clear results so far is that people most would like help with their tendency to procrastinate.

It's not surprising: academia has it's advantages and disadvantages....


The freedom that you have to spend your free time also means that no one is breathing down your back asking you "have you published yet?" And you WILL be asked by other people, "How's the dissertation going?" but that only makes you want to run screaming in the other direction. The only hard deadline will come when the dean refuses your third extension of your dissertation deadline.

This is the reason that my first workbook in a series for the graduate student will be on procrastination. Granted, there are a lot of books written to help people with procrastination, but none are specifically written for the graduate student, and none will have the kinds of exercises that I am going to include. The idea will be that there are certain specific tests that you can take that will make a difference in whether you are productive or not.

Furthermore, I think that a lot of people who wonder whether they should really pursue a career as a professor do so because of their tendency to procrastinate. If they can get a handle on this problem early on, they will feel more sure of themselves as they plan their academic career.