Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Japanese or German procrastinators?

My current theory is that these ethnic groups don't procrastinate as much, because it's a cultural "willpower" thing. I think we should learn from them instead of engaging in feel good BS that incidentally doesn't work too well in education either.

this is incorrect, and... feels a little racist to me.

In fact, there have been German members of this forum - more than one.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Racist how?

Racist how? Am I putting down Germans or the other way around? Cultural differences exist, period. If saying this makes me a racist, so be it.

cutural differences versus racism

Broadly generalizing individual qualities to an entire race is racist - thinking that a race of people can be that homogeneous on a personality characteristic is racist. It doesn't matter that this particular over-generalization happens to be positive. It's a short jump to saying all blacks are lazy and all Jews are cheap. If all Germans and all Japanese are self-disciplined and efficient, then why can't all blacks be lazy and all Jews be cheap? These are not qualities you can apply to an entire race. Cultural differences have to do with manners and traditions, not personality traits.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

No one implied anything

No one implied anything about homogeneity. If I say "Japanese tend to be shorter than Norwegians", that does not mean that "Every Japanese is shorter than every Norwegian".

On a slightly different subject, I noticed your tendency to misinterpret what I write to find reasons to complain. This is the third time your are doing it. I'm "overgeneralizing"? Whatever, dude. This is coming from someone who wanted to ban all IP addresses in Russia, because all Russians are spammers...


It's true - you've written stuff that's irked me before. Your messages can come off as harsh and judgmental - sometimes aimed at me, often aimed at others. I react partly to protect members other than myself who may feel offended by it. (I'll bet anything you've gotten this feedback from people before.)

Re Eastern Europeans and spam... I don't think all Russians are spammers, but it's a fact that 100% of the people from Slavic countries that have joined this forum have been spammers. Pornographic spam is a turn-off for members and is tedious for me to delete, so I ban the offending domains. It's very annoying to be trying to leave for work and see that some a**hole has once again posted 20 pornographic spam messages in the forum. Spamming has gone way down here since I started banning the domains of the spammers.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Procrastinators and natural selection

I just had a friend visiting who's lived all over the world, and has published a few articles about different behaviors and cultures. He said behaviors are generally individual (like you just said); especially procrastination, which like alcoholism, is but a symptom of an underlying cause. Chronic procrastinators in primitive cultures either change or die off. He also said they don't have the diversions we have, so it's easier for them to focus on hunting, fishing, farming, etc. Consequences for procrastination are also usually more direct, as there's not alot of support system like there is here. While some cultures are more or less "laid back", he couldn't think of any that exhibited undue amounts of bad or defective behaviors. He did recall opposing sides in a rift between two African tribes bad-mouthing each others' sides by saying they didn't do anything till the last moment, among other defamatory things!  "Damned procrastinators anyhow."

A fascinating idea

Does anyone know if there is any cross-cultural research on procrastination?  Culture is a powerfaul shaper of individual behavior, and it may offer some clues about additional ways to treat the problem.

I wonder what differences one might find between the two parts of formerly-divided Germany based on cultural effects of communism...