Are you deadline-driven or task-driven? It's okay to have either style!


About the book

What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions, and Success. 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. 

Meet the Author





Represented by the Garis Agency 


Office  +1-415-457-2839

Mobile  415-302-8049

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 163, Kentfield CA 94914


Dr. Mary Lamia is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who practices in Marin County, California. Additionally, she is a professor 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  The Upside of Shame. She has provided commentary for numerous television, radio, and print media interviews and discussions Her blog posts for Psychology Today, Thrive Global, and Therapy Today websites illustrate the significant role of emotions in our lives. 


Midwest Book Review

"Exceptionally well written, impressively informative and insightful, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions, and Success is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library collections, as well as the personal reading lists for psychology students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject."


“When it comes to getting things done, according to clinical psychologist Lamia, we can be divided into two camps: task-driven and deadline-driven. The task-driven folks keep detailed lists of projects and can’t really rest until everything is checked off. The deadline-driven mull over commitments before they begin and use the pressure of a deadline to complete their work. Interestingly, Lamia doesn’t consider one approach to be better than the other...Lamia provides illuminating insights into the positive and negative emotions that shape these attributes as well as a troubleshooting guide that offers concrete suggestions on ways to successfully harness stress and clear that to-do list.” 

Library Journal

"Interestingly enough, both procrastinators and nonprocrastinators are successful in their endeavors, though each respond to motivation in different ways...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...” 

Bill McCown, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean, ULM, and pioneering researcher in procrastination

"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. "

Michael Krasny, Ph.D., Professor of Literature and Host of KQED’s Forum

"Dr. Mary Lamia offers wise and practical light and guidance on emotions and motivation in this serious, thoughtful and important book. A singular achievement."

Joseph R. Ferrari, Ph.D., St. Vincent dePaul Professor of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL

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.

Media Samples


WGN-AM, Chicago

KQED-FM San Francisco, Forum with Michael Krasny

Forbes: "This Is For The Procrastinators: A Clinical Psychoanalyst Weighs In," by Kevin Kruse

CBC Toronto, Tapestry with Mary Hynes

Success: "Our Favorite Personal Development Books, July 2017."

KDKA Pittsburgh, Morning news with Larry Richert and John Shumway


SARDER TV with Vanessa Tyler

INC.COM: "These Are the 7 Things That Drive People to Get Things Done," by Martin Zwilling

HUFFINGTON POST: "Procrastinators, Rejoice! We Are Not the Problem," by Kevin Kruse

SUCCESS INSIDER: What Type of Procrastinator Are You?

PERSONALITY HACKER: Personal Development Using Personality Models




Contact Information

Send a Message

Mary Lamia, Ph.D.

+1-415-457-2839 (office) 415-302-8049 (mobile)