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What Motivates Getting Things Done

Procrastination, Emotions, and Success

Mary Lamia

Hardback
A marvel of evolution is that humans are not solely motivated by their desire to experience positive emotions. They are also motivated, and even driven to achieve, by their attempt to avoid or seek relief from negative ones. What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions, and Success explains how anxiety is like a highly motivating friend, why you should fear failure, and the underpinnings of shame, distress, and fear in the pursuit of excellence.

Many successful people put things off until a deadline beckons them, while countless others can’t resist the urge to do things right away. Dr. Lamia explores the emotional lives of people who are successful in their endeavors—both procrastinators and non-procrastinators alike—to illustrate how the human motivational system works, why people respond to it differently, and how everyone can use their natural style of getting things done to their advantage. The book illustrates how the different timing of procrastinators and non-procrastinators to complete tasks has to do with when their emotions are activated and what activates them.

Overall, What Motivates Getting Things Done illustrates how emotions play a significant role in our style of doing, along with our way of being, in the world. Readers will acquire a better understanding of the innate biological system that motivates them and how they can make the most of it in all areas of their lives.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 164Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-0381-5 • Hardback • July 2017 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
978-1-4422-0382-2 • eBook • July 2017 • $30.00 • (£19.95) (coming soon)
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 and Understanding Myself: A Kid’s Guide to Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings. 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, Therapy Today, and How Do I Date websites illustrate the significant role of emotions in our lives.
INTRODUCTION
1 WHAT MOTIVATES GETTING IT DONE—AN OVERVIEW
2 DEADLINES, DELIBERATION, AND DISTRACTION
3 WHAT MOTIVATES EARLY ACTION OR DELAY
4 ANXIETY AS AN ENGINE OF TASK COMPLETION
5 WHY YOU SHOULD FEAR FAILURE
6 PURSUING EXCELLENCE
7 RELATIONSHIPS AND DIVERGENT MOTIVATIONAL STYLES
8 OPTIMIZING YOUR MOTIVATIONAL STYLE
9 TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE
10 LOOKING BACK AND MOVING FORWARD
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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


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


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