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The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  1,492 Ratings  ·  300 Reviews
This is not a book for Bill Gates. Or Hillary Clinton, or Steven Spielberg. Clearly they have no trouble getting stuff done. For the great majority of us, though, what a comfort to discover that we’re not wastrels and slackers, but doers . . . in our own way. It may sound counterintuitive, but according to philosopher John Perry, you can accomplish a lot by putting things ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Workman (first published 2012)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is a great little book. I should review it, but I'll probably never get around to it.
Dec 04, 2013 Annie rated it it was amazing
I got this book about a year ago, and I finally got around to reading it this morning. This is a quick and insightful read, and I recommend it to all my fellow procrastinators out there.

I thought I was just a procrastinator, but it turns out I am a structured procrastinator (I get a lot of things done, just not the things I'm supposed to be working on (I'm also a horizontal organizer (which is where you tend to spread papers out on horizontal surfaces instead of using vertical filing cabinets) a
Jun 03, 2016 Dmitry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-short
прочитал эту книгу вместо той сложной, которую хотел прочитать.
Initial reaction: Quick little guide for understanding the structured procrastinator and horizontal organizer, whether you are one or know someone who is. I did like Perry's respective musings and explanations, though I'll admit I didn't really learn much that I didn't already know about procrastination (and I'll admit I'm guilty of it myself). Still, I think this book is worth picking up just to see Perry's thoughts on the matter, and he does give good resources/thoughts about the subject.

May 15, 2015 Marie-aimée rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fr, philosophy
Comment se remonter le moral quand on l'impression de n'avoir rien fait de sa journée? Lisez ce livre! L'auteur donne beaucoup d'anecdotes personnelles, du quotidien et de sa vie professionnelle. Il définit en phrase simple ce qu'est la procrastination et ses liens avec les perfectionnistes. C'était drôle, direct et positif! On peut résumer en un mot : LOL. Mais que fait-on si on est un demi-procrastinateur?
Michael Burnam-Fink
Sep 14, 2012 Michael Burnam-Fink rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Hi, my name is Michael, and I'm a procrastinator. So when I heard about this book from a friend, I felt a brief flame of hope that this would help me conquer what ails me, finish my dissertation in a timely manner, and ride off into the sunset in a blaze of glory. Or something like that.

This book is mostly an affirmation of the idea that you can be procrastinator and still get things done. Perry introduces the theory of 'structured procrastination', based on Robert Benchley's quip that "Anyone c
Carmen Pacheco
Dec 21, 2014 Carmen Pacheco rated it did not like it
No puedo decir que este libro no me haya ayudado, porque lo cierto es que me ha hecho reflexionar bastante sobre mis propios hábitos de trabajo. Si lo que se describe aquí es procrastinación puede que yo no sea una procrastinadora en absoluto sino una persona ultraeficiente. Eso explicaría lo poco que he conectado con el libro y lo mucho que he llegado a indignarme con algunos capítulos. En mi opinión este libro es una oda a la autoindulgencia, lleno de justificaciones para ser un jeta y un vago ...more
Oct 22, 2012 Hilary rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
Looking for a self help book to help you become less of a procrastinator? Don't look here! Inside you will find, instead, a short quick read that will assure you that it's okay to procrastinate, because while putting off one task you are usually completing another task, and really isn't that what being productive is all about? Perry does give one tip for helping the procrastinator manage life more easily - to do lists. Guess who's got a to do list right in front of her that was made before this ...more
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
Perry wrote a short and sweet little book about structured procrastination. It reminded me of my professor's essay on gossip in college--kind of an ethics of everyday life mixed with a little humor. I think he starts out strong, by the middle i felt like he made procrastinators out to be a bit shallow/manipulative, and then finished ok. Quick read, accessible, and I felt like most of it was thoughtfully written. Like I said, in the middle or so, he kind of comes off, maybe, a little smug, which ...more
Troy Blackford
Jan 15, 2014 Troy Blackford rated it really liked it
This is a diverting and amusing short piece on the virtues of 'The Art of Procrastination.' Couched among its humorous jests and personal anecdotes are some interesting ruminations and advice on how the procrastinator can channel their natural tendencies towards increased productivity without needing to combat their essential nature as a procrastinator. Amusing stuff, and well worth a read!
May 31, 2016 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: productivity, humor
Four stars mainly for being quite funny as well as the author's example of a healthy coming to terms with this common and sometimes maddening human trait that often functions at deeper levels and more complex reasons than a mere lack of discipline.
Oct 12, 2016 Pripri rated it it was ok
N'achetez surtout pas ce livre, il s'agit d'un petit article augmenté d'un chapitre (grâce à Alexandre Lacroix wahou tip top) si on le compare à sa version en ligne (http://www.structuredprocrastination....). C'est d'un humour bon enfant, ça ne pisse pas plus loin que son ombre (lul) mais c'est à prendre. Perry saura parler aux "procrastinateurs structurés" c'est-à-dire à ceux qui profitent de l'importance et l'urgence d'une tâche pour la fuir en faisant les autres. Des procrastinateurs fonciers ...more
Aug 26, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: procrastinators, lollygaggers, dawdlers
This reader must admit that the word "mañana," Spanish for "tomorrow," is a beautiful term. It even has a nice ring to it.

Yet I must agree with author John Perry. As he says in his book The Art of Procrastination , and subtitled A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing, there is a fine art to this. In fact, most good dawdlers at least aspire to be structured procrastinators, and Dr. Perry does a good job of explaining this in his book.

The title to this book may sound funny, an
Oct 05, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Super witty awesome book about procrastination. Instead of saying how terrible procrastination is he made a short easy to read book about how to use your procrastination to get things done. Instead of wallowing in the pit of self disrepair that comes with being a procrastinator thinking you never get anything done and about the pile of projects good ideas and unfulfilled commitments you have piling up in your mental to-do list.

This book is funny with a dry wit that I love, there are so many ton
Artig bok om den evigvarende karusellen hvor man gjør alt mulig annet enn det man egentlig skal (mye av det er faktisk og nyttig!) Jeg er definitivt en strukturert prokrastinatør
Sep 29, 2016 Mark rated it it was ok
Did not finish, how ironic! But what I did read wasn't very insightful or enlightening...blah blah blah
Matt Diephouse
Dec 29, 2015 Matt Diephouse rated it really liked it
This book was short, light-hearted, and interesting. A pretty terrific combo.

A summary of the contents, by chapter:

1. Procrastinators can still get things done. Practice "structured procrastination", where you avoid some large, actually unimportant task by completing other, actually important tasks.

2. Procrastination is often caused by a desire to do something perfectly. Give yourself permission to do merely an adequate job on something and you may find the time to do it.

3. To-do lists are an ef
Jan 27, 2013 Remo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Breve ensayo sobre cómo la procrastinación (el "arte" de dejar sistemáticamente las cosas importantes e incómodas para más tarde), aun siendo un problema con el que hay que lidiar, puede utilizarse en nuestro propio beneficio. El primer capítulo, que es el que le otorgó a su autor el premio IgNobel de literatura en 2011, está disponible en la red en Structured Procrastination y es altamente recomedable para los que tenemos la manía de hacer listas de 10 elementos y hacer los tres últimos y otros ...more
La traduzione italiana del titolo lascia presagire un contenuto indirizzato alla necessità di staccare dalle incombenze pressanti, per dedicarsi ad attività di norma definite, perditempo. Invece il discorso si dipana su un altro atteggiamento che è quella della procrastinazione, individuata come difetto, ma non sempre. Da cui il titolo originale "The Art of Procrastination".

L'autore è un filosofo dell'università di Standford e come tale cerca giustificazioni al comportamento che, o per indole o
Oct 05, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Published by HighBridge Audio in 2012
Read by Brian Holsopple
Duration: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Are you the kind of person who has the best of intentions but continually puts important projects aside to do other things? Is your work environment organized horizontally (stuff spread all over the desk, open chairs and any other flat surface) rather than vertically (in a filing cabinet)? Do you find that even though you put things off you still get a whole lot of stuff done - just not the stuff that you wer
George Bradford
Sep 21, 2012 George Bradford rated it really liked it
Shelves: truth, america
John Perry is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Stanford University and co-host of the syndicated public radio program "Philosophy Talk". He is the author and editor of several books and countless articles that can be accurately described as 'hard core academic philosophy'.

Professor Perry achieved an esteemed academic career (industriously teaching, writing and publishing) in spite of being what can accurately be described as a 'hard core procrastinator'.

How? "The Art of Procrastination" expl
Jul 23, 2012 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: procrastinators and people otherwise pressed for time
Recommended to Shannon by: Workman Publishing
I received an ARC of this book via Twitter contest, then promptly put it on my shelf of owned TBR material. The book kept gnawing at the back of my head - of course I should read it, they were nice enough to send it to me, they'd love the feedback, it's a short enough little tome... So FINALLY I read it and saw myself in nearly every page - which is a bit embarrassing. I did find quite a few useful tips for actually accomplishing things that I'd heretofore put off: I very much enjoyed the bird-b ...more
Nov 15, 2014 Marie-paule rated it it was ok
not much in this book. ok some people never get anything done and would be real proscratinators ... there are probably a few of them, there is survival instinct that keeps everybody moving and do something to keep alive ! then there are the structured proscratinators, a new concept, for the ones that get things done but not exactly the things they should be doing ...this is so broad now that anybody can feel a bit in this category for posponing doing things they don't want to do ...and yes it's ...more
Nov 21, 2013 Minnie rated it it was amazing
"The structured procrastinator may not be the world's most effective human being, but by letting her ideas and energy wander spontaneously, she may accomplish all sorts of things that she would have missed out on by adhering to a more structured regimen. Pat yourself on the back for what you get done."

This is a MUST read for anyone with procrastinate tendencies. It made me realize that I'm not necessarily a freak or lazy or too self-important to fit in with other people's schedules, i am merely
Nancy Hildebrandt
Jun 21, 2015 Nancy Hildebrandt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to
I have practiced structured procrastination much more effectively since I read Dr. Perry's essay ( (which won an Ig Nobel prize, BTW), discovered there was a name for it, and learned some explicit techniques for doing it more effectively.

For example, this morning I was online investigating bamboo lumber for a future planter stand, when I realized I was using it as an excuse not to read about how social security benefits are taxed. I promptly switched to s
Vivienne Strauss
May 29, 2015 Vivienne Strauss rated it really liked it
I know it appears that it took me more than two years to read this book (started May of 2013) but after reading the opening chapter, I misplaced the book in our upstairs bedroom. I found it today while reorganizing my library and instead of continuing to move books up and down a flight of stairs, I chose to sit down and read this book, cover to cover. What a delight! It was highly amusing and good to give names to things I've been doing my whole life. What Perry refers to as "structured procrast ...more
John Braine
Dec 30, 2014 John Braine rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, 2014
Bought this on a whim very cheaply in an sale. I didn't look at any reviews and going by the title, I actually wasn't expecting a self-help book. Even though that's not entirely what it's meant to be. I think I was expecting some kind of celebration of the procrastinator; a tongue-in-cheek guide to effective procrastination - not tips to cure procrastination! (My bad! I guess.)

It's very short. I listened to the whole book in the time it took me to clean the kitchen and the car. Amusi
Caleb Liu
Oct 13, 2016 Caleb Liu rated it liked it
I managed to procrastinate on doing so many seemingly non-essential things while reading this book. Or were they actually essential? Or does my reading this book instead of doing them prove that they were actually non-essential? Or am I just a habitually and hopelessly irredeemable procrastinator?

I enjoyed this lighthearted read, and it made me feel better for a very short while until I realized I was far less effective and productive a procrastinator than the author. Then I felt depressed which
Feb 16, 2014 Crystal rated it it was amazing
I loved this little book! It was informative, entertaining and in spots, laugh out loud hilarious. I swear I think this guy is a long, lost relative or he's hiding out in the office next door to mine. It takes one to know one and this guy has me and many of my colleagues pegged for sure. However, he does offer some realistic suggestions in attempting to make better use of "structured procrastination." Of course a philosopher would come up with this idea. I'm going to see if he's written any othe ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Jason rated it did not like it
I always liked John Perry's Dialogue on Personal Identity; I used it many times when teaching philosophy. So I have a soft spot for him. But this book it dumb; there is nothing to it. The first chapter, which was the spark for the book and a long-time stand-alone essay, is perhaps worth reading online. The rest of the book is transparently just filling out pages. I concede that the tone is (very) mildly amusing, and you get to like John Perry a bit, but it's not really worth the time, even if yo ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John R. Perry (born 1943) is Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. He has made significant contributions to areas of philosophy, including logic, philosophy of language, metaphysics, and philoso
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“When I was a young philosopher, I asked a senior colleague, Pat Suppes (then and now a famous philosopher of science and an astute student of human nature), what the secret of happiness was. Instead of giving me advice, he made a rather droll observation about what a lot of people who were happy with themselves seem to have done, namely:
1. Take a careful inventory of their shortcomings and flaws
2. Adopt a code of values that treats these things as virtues
3. Admire themselves for living up to it
Brutal people admire themselves for being manly; compulsive pedants admire themselves for their attention to detail; naturally selfish and mean people admire themselves for their dedication to helping the market reward talent and punish failure, and so on.”
“I really have nothing against rationality, or even doing what you think is best, or doing what is more likely to satisfy your desires. I have tried these strategies at various times, occasionally with good results. But I think the ideal of the rational agent is the source of lots of needless unhappiness. It's not the way many of us operate; it's certainly not the way I operate. And operating the way we do usually works just fine, and really isn't a reason to hang our heads in shame and despair.” 2 likes
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