Monday, May 17, 2010

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

read this, since odds are, someone in your household is a procrastinator

"A penchant for postponement takes its toll. Procrastination carries a financial penalty, endangers health, harms relationships and ends careers."

Procrastinating Again? How to Kick the Habit in Scientific American describes several theories on why people procrastinate, some snippets:
The characteristic most strongly linked to procrastination is conscientiousness—or lack thereof. A highly conscientious person is dutiful, organized and industrious. Therefore, someone who is not conscientious has a high probability of procrastinating. A person who is impulsive also is a procrastinator at risk. “People who are impulsive can’t shield one intention from another,” Pychyl says. So they are easily diverted by temptations—say, the offer of a beer—that crop up in the middle of a project such as writing a term paper

Procrastination can also stem from anxiety, an offshoot of neuroticism. Procrastinators postpone getting started because of a fear of failure (I am so worried that I will bungle this assignment), the fear of ultimately making a mistake (I need to make sure the outcome will be perfect), and the fear of success (If I do well, people will expect more of me all the time. Therefore, I’ll put the assignment off until the last minute, do it poorly, and people won’t expect so much of me).
Then the article offers strategies to kick the habit:
So rather than setting a vague goal such as “I will get healthy,” set one with its implementation, including timing, built in—say, “I will go to the health club at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.”

Setting such specific prescriptions does appear to inhibit the tendency to procrastinate. In 2008 psychologist Shane Owens and his colleagues at Hofstra University demonstrated that procrastinators who formed implementation intentions were nearly eight times as likely to follow through on a commitment than were those who did not create them. “You have to make a specific commitment to a time and place at which to act beforehand,” Owens says. “That will make you more likely to follow through.”

Smart scheduling can also thwart procrastination...

More simply, Pychyl advises procrastinators to “just get started.” The anticipation of the task often is far worse than the task turns out to be...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

perhaps I should start a "woman's site"

Advertiser's are targeting women, and the sites that cater to them. From NYtimes article, Woman to Woman, Online :
Heather Armstrong’s wickedly funny blog about motherhood, Dooce, is more than just an outlet for the creativity and frustrations of a modern mother. The site, chock full of advertising, is a moneymaking machine — so much so that Ms. Armstrong and her husband have both quit their regular jobs.
Despite her blog going downhill after she had a child (I thought so anyway, but maybe that's only because I don't have children?), enough people are still flocking to her blog that both she and her husband were both able to quit their day jobs?!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Is this art?

Waterfalls take over NYC:
What's more refreshing than a waterfall on a hot Brooklyn day? How about four? In one of the most expansive public art projects in New York City's history, artist Olafur Eliasson has constructed four giant waterfalls around the East River made out of scaffolding and water pumps.
Seems really silly to me, but then again, I wasn't too big a fan of the other "art" exhibited in NY in recent years. Namely, the refurbished entry pavilion to the Brooklyn Museum of art, the Sensation exhibit, and The Gates in Central Park....

*For more, see the official project website: NYC Waterfalls

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

in favor of part time work for all

Interesting article in the NYtimes: When Mom and Dad Share It All. Not much time to comment on it, as I work full time, and have far too many errands to run while at home (and I'm not a parent!), but a couple of points I found especially interesting. The article talks about men holding part time jobs - very inspiring, since if men can get away with it, surely, I as a women can too...And a quote regarding division of labor:
“And the most sadly comic data is from my own research,” he adds, which show that in married couples “where she has a job and he doesn’t, and where you would anticipate a complete reversal, even then you find the wife doing the majority of the housework.”

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

exercise willpower, but only toward one goal at a time

Interesting, but largely nonsensical, article on willpower, advising us to be careful when expending our willpower resources:
The brain has a limited capacity for self-regulation, so exerting willpower in one area often leads to backsliding in others...The brain’s store of willpower is depleted when people control their thoughts, feelings or impulses, or when they modify their behavior in pursuit of goals...It can be counterproductive to work toward multiple goals at the same time if your willpower cannot cover all the efforts that are required. Concentrating your effort on one or at most a few goals at a time increases the odds of success.
However, also advising us to make sure to use willpower often, since:
Like a muscle, willpower seems to become stronger with use. Whatever the explanation, consistently doing any activity that requires self-control seems to increase willpower — and the ability to resist impulses and delay gratification is highly associated with success in life.
And some fluff:
People who stick to an exercise program for two months report reducing their impulsive spending, junk food intake, alcohol use and smoking. They also study more, watch less television and do more housework. Other forms of willpower training, like money-management classes, work as well.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

natural alternative to drugs

Read studies about this years ago, but predictably enough, the NYtimes is writing about it again, Yes, Running Can Make You High:
But now medical technology has caught up with exercise lore. Researchers in Germany, using advances in neuroscience, report in the current issue of the journal Cerebral Cortex that the folk belief is true: Running does elicit a flood of endorphins in the brain. The endorphins are associated with mood changes, and the more endorphins a runner’s body pumps out, the greater the effect.

They (German researchers) show that it is possible to define and measure the runner’s high and that it should be possible to figure out what brings it on. They even offer hope for those who do not enjoy exercise but do it anyway. These exercisers might learn techniques to elicit a feeling that makes working out positively addictive.