- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (June 29, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1442203811
- ISBN-13: 978-1442203815
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions, and Success
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Interestingly enough, both procrastinators and nonprocrastinators are successful in their endeavors, though each respond to motivation in different ways. Lamia, clinical psychologist and faculty chair has made a lifetime study of human emotions. She explains that people are moved to complete a task by not only positive but also negative emotions such as anxiety, fear of failure, and shame. Through her descriptions of personality types and motivators, readers learn to optimize their own style of action, respond to intense feelings, and be committed to meeting goals. The 'troubleshooting guide' at the end of the book outlines various ways to handle life’s glitches as they come along. VERDICT This motivating self-help guide will have wide appeal. (Library Journal)
When it comes to getting things done, according to clinical psychologist Lamia, we can be divided into two camps: task-driven and deadline-driven. The task-driven folks keep detailed lists of projects and can’t really rest until everything is checked off. The deadline-driven mull over commitments before they begin and use the pressure of a deadline to complete their work. Interestingly, Lamia doesn’t consider one approach to be better than the other. Although the task-driven seem to be on top of things, they can sometimes rush, producing work that isn’t always their best. Despite the last-minute heroics, the deadline-driven can complete their work on time and produce high-quality results. (She does make a distinction between procrastinators who meet and don’t meet their deadlines.) The trick is embracing your style and working with it. Lamia provides illuminating insights into the positive and negative emotions that shape these attributes as well as a troubleshooting guide that offers concrete suggestions on ways to successfully harness stress and clear that to-do list. (Booklist)
Exceptionally well written, impressively informative and insightful, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions, and Success is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library collections, as well as the personal reading lists for psychology students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. (Midwest Book Review)
Dr. Lamia’s new book on procrastination speaks to readers in a simple, straightforward language and tone, with lots of real-life examples making it an easy read. She offers insights to the “eMOTION + MOTIVATION” link behind forms of procrastination, with tricks on how to get it done. The emphasis on emotions (e.g., shame, guilt, anxiety, fear), and not focusing on failure, will help procrastinators cope in life. (Joseph R. Ferrari, PhD, St. Vincent dePaul Professor of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL)
Dr. Mary Lamia offers wise and practical light and guidance on emotions and motivation in this serious, thoughtful and important book. A singular achievement (Michael Krasny, PhD, Professor of Literature and Host of KQED’s Forum)
Dr. Lamia says “you can learn about yourself if you pay attention” and you can also do so by reading this book. It is lucid and has great examples. After reading it you will have deeper self-understanding. (Mardi Horowitz, MD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry UCSF; author of Adult Personality Growth in Psychotherapy)
If you are someone who often can't "just do it", this book may help you just do it better. Procrastination can often be seriously debilitating. Yet, ironically it can also be a powerfully motivating, as most people who have been students know. Dr. Lamia illustrates how some people have learned to make procrastination work for them to become more effective and better reach their goals. This book uniquely shows how highly successful people have turned procrastination into a personal asset. Procrastination may help unleash creativity, generate novel problem-solving, and even heighten focus. The secret of making procrastination an ally is in managing the negative emotions it too often generates. In an area where behavior is very difficult to change, this new approach is truly exciting and greatly needed. (Bill McCown, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Associate Dean, College of Business and Social Sciences University of Louisiana at Monroe and Pioneering Researcher in the Field of Procrastination)
About the Author
Mary C. Lamia, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who practices in Marin County, California. Additionally, she is a professor and the faculty chair at the Wright Institute in Berkeley. Her career-long passion to convey an understanding of emotions to the public is exemplified by her writing and media work. She is the author of Emotions! Making Sense of Your Feelings, Understanding Myself: A Kid's Guide to Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings, and What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions, and Success. She co-authored The White Knight Syndrome: Rescuing Yourself from Your Need to Rescue Others and a forthcoming book, The Upside of Shame. She has provided commentary for numerous television, radio, and print media interviews and discussions, and for nearly a decade hosted a weekly call-in talk show, KidTalk with Dr. Mary, on Radio Disney stations. Her blog posts for Psychology Today and Therapy Today websites illustrate the significant role of emotions in our lives.
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More specifically, successful people are motivated and even driven to achieve by both positive emotions (e.g. "imagining a future reward") and negative emotions (e.g. "distress, fear, anger, disgust, and shame") and Lamia wrote this book in order to help her reader understand how to activate positive emotions and de-activate (if not eliminate) negative emotions.
With regard to great managers, they "don't try to change their employees, but instead, they identify their employees' unique abilities, recognize their diverse learning and implementation styles, and help them use those qualities to excel in their own way...Similarly, it is important for managers to recognize that tasks motivate some people who report to them, but that others may be motivated by deadlines. Further, whether an employee completes a task early on or at the deadline is less important than evaluating outcome. Productivity can be increased when managers recognize motivational goals and set goals accordingly."
That brief excerpt contains several key points. Perhaps the most important is that managers must use "different strokes for different folks." People tend to do best what they enjoy doing most. One of the most valuable dimensions of workplace alignment is having the right people doing the right work to achieve the given strategic objectives.
In Chapter 9, Lamia provides a "Troubleshooting Guide" to assist those who have deadline-driven style or a task-driven style. She also offers specific recommendations when troubleshooting failing motivation. It is human nature to lose momentum. As decades of research by Anders Ericsson and his colleagues at Florida State University clearly indicate, peak performance cannot be sustained indefinitely. It is also true that people can be de-motivated for a variety of reasons that include not feeling appreciated or seeing few (if any) opportunities for personal growth and professional development.
Mary Lamia offers a wealth of information, insights, and counsel that can help almost anyone who reads the book to determine their actual motivational style, to engage mentors who employ a motivational style that aligns with theirs, to recognize and respond to issues that could or do compromise the quality of their work, and to realize how their efforts affect others, for better or worse.
How to conclude this brief commentary? I defer to Maya Angelou for some excellent advice: "Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better."