The Procrastination Equation
How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff DoneBook - 2010
DON'T WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK: The world's leading expert on procrastination uses his groundbreaking research to offer understanding on a matter that bedevils us all. Writing with humour, humanity and solid scientific information reminiscent of Stumbling on Happiness and Freakonomics , Piers Steel explains why we knowingly and willingly put off a course of action despite recognizing we'll be worse off for it.
For those who surf the Web instead of finishing overdue assignments, who always say diets start tomorrow, who stay up late watching TV to put off going to sleep, The Procrastination Equation explains why we do what we do -- or in this case don't -- and why in Western societies we're in the midst of an escalating procrastination epidemic.
Dr. Piers Steel takes on the myths and misunderstandings behind procrastination and motivation -- showing us how procrastination affects our lives, health, careers and happiness and what we can do about it. With accessible prose and the benefits of new scientific research, he provides insight into why we procrastinate even though the result is that we are less happy, healthy, even wealthy. Who procrastinates and why? How many ways, big and small, do we procrastinate? How can we stop doing it? The reasons are part cultural, part psychological, part biological. And, with a million new ways to distract ourselves in the digitized world -- all of which feed on our built-in impulsiveness -- more of us are potentially damaging ourselves by putting things off. But Steel not only analyzes the factors that weigh us down but the things that motivate us -- including understanding the value of procrastination.
From the critics
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There are interesting things in this book, and most people will recognize themselves in at least some of the descriptions. It seems to me, though, that there's a paradox at the heart of Steel's project. He makes a compelling argument that humans are, in fact, hard-wired to procrastinate. Consequently, he's promoting ways to thwart our basic natures. Maybe I'm a head in the sand type, but wouldn't it be better NOT to know this, especially, if you're trying to change counter-productive habits? The other problem I have is that the tome is full of snarky remarks directed at the reader. Everything Steel reveals about his past and his life made me dislike him more. Do I really WANT to take advice from this guy? The best part consists of a section with action plans on pp. 124-137. Just think, if this had been a 13-page pamphlet, I could have been spared the other 207 pages of self-important preening and demeaning sarcasm. And HE'S (according to the blurb) "the world's leading researcher and speaker on the science of motivation and procrastination". Save yourself the pain and skip to Chapter 7.
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