“Minecraft” Creator Blocked

Markus Persson, the creator of the megapopular game Minecraft, is blocked on his next project. Sounds like a classic case of situational perfectionism to me. SP often follows a huge success or an early success. (See, also, this.) He sounds like a genuinely nice guy (among other things, a supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) […]

Feeling Powerful Makes You Think Better

I’m turning into a big fan of Annie Murphy Paul’s Brilliant Blog. The advice in this article on thinking more effectively by locating your centers of power nicely complements The 7 Secrets of the Prolific’s thesis that procrastination is caused by disempowerment. I particularly like Paul’s advice to find a role in which you feel […]

How to Spend Your Weekend

Some great suggestions from Laura Vanderkam author of What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: I like her #2 and #3 best: 2. They Don’t Go Limp. If you spend your workweek running — or worse, flying — from place to place, you may think you want to collapse on the couch all […]

Prolific Robot

An artist did this for me a while back at a science fiction convention:

Is Perfectionism Genetic? (Plus Solutions)

This Wall Street Journal article is old, but still worth checking out. It reports on twin studies showing that some young kids seem to have a biological predisposition to perfectionist behaviors like getting unreasonably upset if their shoelaces are different lengths, or to “[idolizing] the bodies of models and celebrities.” However, the article is quick […]

Attention all Graduate Students and Junior Faculty

A new cycle of the Academic Success Catalyst Program – 4 weeks of small-group conference calls – starts next week. The ASCP is for graduate students, postdocs, junior faculty, and other junior academic researchers who would like to: • get more productive in their writing and other work • finish their thesis, papers, or other […]

Wednesday Dog: Bowled Over


Healing Strategies

I live right near Boston’s Logan Airport so my main Marathon experience happens just before and after the race, when my normally sedate T (subway) line fills up with hundreds of incredibly skinny, fit, and exuberant people from all over the world who have flown in to take part. I was out of town when […]

Tuesday Dog: Slickered

              from Cute Overload

You Get There in the End

Below is a lovely meditation on procrastination and the virtues of persistence from Sven Herselman.  Used with kind permission. Procrastination, I’m the master of it, or maybe it’s sometimes the master of me. I also enjoy going camping, but I have to admit that even though I have been living for over a year in […]

Monday Dog: A Sweetie Who Knows His Worth

Nonperfectionist Online Writing

Some good insights in this article on overcoming perfectionism. The author, psychologist Anna Deeds, also discusses how she overcame her perfectionist tendencies when writing online: When I started writing online, I used to read every post 5 or 6 times before I would publish it. You won’t get many posts complete if you read them […]

“A Good Death”

I had never looked closely for a long period at a dying person. I had never listened to the strained breathing of a body barely functioning and had never put my head beside a man too weak to speak, smelled his pungent breath and silently shared his day in, day out view of the white […]

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family fights unproductively.

Useful tips on how to have a constructive dispute with your family. People tend to fight more during transitional times, like when you’re leaving for/coming home from work. So work on staying cool during those times. (Time management, which will help you overcome the morning and evening rushes, can help.) Everyone should be sitting at […]

“I was held captive by perfectionism.”

A short but vivid description of one woman’s struggle. The writer gets so much right: that it’s a trap that it often begins in childhood In high school: “I sat before my Spanish teacher in tears over a B+.” Heavy involvement with ballet, an endeavor that “required excellence.” As an adult, a perfectionist approach to […]