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The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done [Hardcover]

Piers Steel
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 28 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.

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“The Procrastination Equation will teach you how to bust the excuses that are preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life. You’ll learn some surprising facts about procrastination as well as practical techniques for short-circuiting the temptation to dawdle. So don’t put it off any longer. Read this book. Today.”
 — Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“I put off writing this blurb until the last minute. I thought it was because I was too busy, but after reading The Procrastination Equation, I know the real reasons. Piers Steel will help you tackle the goals—big and small—that always seemed just a little out of reach.”
 — Richard Florida, author of The Great Reset
“Procrastination is the saffron spice of human behavior, where even small amounts of this tendency can shatter the best of intentions. In this illuminating book Piers Steel shows us the secrets of procrastination, how it affects us and how we will, one day, be able to prevail.”
 — Dan Ariely, author of The Upside of Irrationality

From the Back Cover

Using a mix of psychology, science, self-help, and a decade of groundbreaking research, Dr. Piers Steel, internationally recognized as the foremost authority on procrastination, explains why procrastination is dangerously on the rise and tells us how to overcome the destructive patterns that affect our health and happiness to create more positive lives.

If you think you are not one of the 95 percent of those of us who procrastinate, take Dr. Steel's test in The Procrastination Equation. Or if you think you procrastinate because you're a perfectionist—you're wrong. So, why do we surf the Web instead of finishing overdue projects? Why do we say we'll start that diet—tomorrow? Why do we stay up late watching television instead of going to bed? And how do we overcome these bad habits that we know work against our best intentions? Based on more than a decade of research, and written with humor, humanity, and solid science, The Procrastination Equation explains why we do what we do—or, in this case, don't—offering answers to such questions as:

  • Are we biologically hardwired to procrastinate? If so, why?
  • How does procrastination cost us?
  • What tricks do we play on ourselves when we procrastinate at work, school, and home?
  • If visualizing our dreams isn't enough to make them real, then what steps must we take?

Along the way, Dr. Steel dispels the myths and misunderstandings of motivation and procrastination, replacing them with a clear explanation of why we put off until tomorrow what we should be doing today. He then offers specific techniques we can use to tame and prevent the bad habits that adversely affect our health, happiness, and careers, all the while celebrating the very human foibles that make us who we are. The Procrastination Equation is the definitive and accessible guide for anyone who struggles with this age-old dilemma.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do it now! Feb. 27 2011
This book has made an immediate impact on my life. At 63, you'd think I might know how to get 'to it' but Piers Steele explains how I've been coping for a long time and how to make real improvements - this is a must read!!
David in Prince Edward County, Ontario
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book sees right through you April 8 2011
By eriegz
The author of "The Procrastination Equation" knows more about me than I do. That is, he knows more about why I procrastinate than I do, and he lays it out in play sight, and simple language. If you're looking to kick this rotten, wealth-robbing, confidence-draining, success-stealing habit, this book will first tell you what the actual source of the problem is and how then how to fix it. I've already started applying many of the principles in this book, and have felt more confident in facing deadlines, responding to emails, paying bills, starting projects early, etc.

I also felt better finding out how many other people procrastinate, both in school and in the business world: a lot of us!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and Fun to Read June 27 2011
By Roger
What's keeping you from getting started on that important project? Why are you having trouble keeping that promise you made? What's taking you so long? These are awkward questions to ask a friend or colleague and slightly embarrasing questions to ask yourself. Dr. Steel does a great job of answering these questions in the Procrastination Equation. He provides some great insight which I find particularly useful for motivating people and managing projects as well as for setting and achieving personal goals. I am delighted to find a really useful book that is not only well-researched, but also fun to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book June 11 2011
By Sheila
This book teaches you a lot about why you behave the way you do; and it teaches you how to manage your behaviour towards your own personal goals. It can change your life and your self-image. Through this book, I learned how to increase the likelihood of success when I do goal setting.

There is a great section about how to control short-term impulses and the inner child we all have. The author presents the principles and based on those he provides you with practical advice that you can use for every day challenges. I already changed the way I approach tasks and the way I spend my time every day. This book has changed my life for the better.
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