Procrastination Research Summit Postponed

Procrastination Research Summit Postponed

Yes, there is a group in academia that meets annually for a weekend to discuss procrastination. They met in Chicago at DePaul University last week and, as always, everybody attending had to register for this 10th annual Procrastination Research Conference in advance. No tickets to it were sold at the door.

This year the group discussed new developments about why people procrastinate. Scientists are considering a lack of self-esteem, physical infirmities, genetics, the effects of a lousy upbringing or a onetime traumatic negative experience. Papers were read, opinions given. They also considered what the medical definition ought to be to qualify as a procrastinator, and concluded there should be a threshold. If you put something off until tomorrow less than one-quarter of the time, then you are not a procrastinator, you are a postponer. Above that, you are a procrastinator, and the medical community should consider this an illness requiring treatment.

At the end of the weekend, there was a discussion about where they ought to meet next year. Israel, Turkey and Britain had offered to host. But the assemblage couldn’t agree. Perhaps they should poll the membership about where the next meeting should be. Or put together a “steering committee.” Or perhaps an independent consultant could be hired to make that decision.

In the end, it was decided to postpone that decision.

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