It is striking how often Americans talk about suffering from procrastination. When things aren't finished in due order, procrastination is the most frequently used of the "minor" rationales or justifications (illness, the dog ate it, etc. being more major, at least when sincere). I certainly have done so on many occasions. Literally meaning to "put off to tomorrow", the pathology is further often attributed to outside conditions, typically new media technologies, such as blaming the distraction of the internet. For this reason, additional technologies have been developed to make such procrastination more difficult. For instance, the app Selfcontrol " is a free and open-source application for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click "Start." Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites--even if you restart your computer or delete the application" [italics in original].
Paul Rabinow's earlier post on 'evasion' makes the important point that procrastination is indexed to a personal, rather than relational domain. In other words, by describing oneself as "procrastinating" or a "procrastinator"—often, of course, in semi-ironic jesting form—one describes a completely solipsistic version of the problem—a failure to meet one's own goals or deadlines. This is characteristic of a form of sociality in which one's life is oriented towards standardized "outputs" (ie numbers of publications), rather than public commitments or interpersonal responsibilities and debts.
Doing so minimizes and deflects the actual interpersonal responsibilities that underpin intellectual work. Once the failure to complete a task is located within an interpersonal domain, the fault appears no longer as procrastination but rather as evasion, delay and—even more strongly—neglect.
From this perspective, it is not so much procrastination itself that is a minor vice, but rather the form given to the self by justifying or explaining one's actions in terms of procrastination.
Externalizing responsibility for the problem onto an app can only intensify of the original neglect.