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The Thief of TimePhilosophical Essays on Procrastination$
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Chrisoula Andreou and Mark D. White

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195376685

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195376685.001.0001

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Coping with Procrastination

Coping with Procrastination

(p.206) 12 Coping with Procrastination
The Thief of Time

Chrisoula Andreou (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter illustrates and analyzes an important coping strategy that has been neglected in the literature on procrastination: the leveraging strategy. Although one must know oneself quite well to use it, it has some significant advantages and so is worth considering, particularly when other strategies are not working or are out of place. Its main advantages are that it can be used even when no external incentives or constraints are conveniently available, and it avoids the dangers associated with magnifying the significance of lapses by casting every relevant choice as a crucial test of one’s self-control. Theoretically, the strategy is initially somewhat puzzling, since it seems to rely on having a significant amount of self-control; but such self-control is, it seems, precisely what is lacking. The puzzle dissolves once one recognizes the possibility that self-control can figure as a local trait rather than a robust character trait.

Keywords:   coping strategy, external incentives, lapses, leveraging, local character trait, procrastination, robust character trait, self-control, self-enforced rule

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