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

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  667 ratings  ·  112 reviews
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 rec ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Random House Canada (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,031)
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Kate
Oh my God do I need this book. I actually put off buying this book for a couple of weeks after seeing it in our local indie bookstore, and finally bit the bullet and bought it yesterday. Finished it today, proving one of the authors points--that we tend to dive into things that are relevant and of value to us. Once I got the book, I found it relevant and of value. The first six chapters of the book are all about the science behind the study of procrastination. It ISN'T about perfectionism--it ha ...more
Dave
Would like to get to this book eventually....
Procrastinus
With over 90% of "Good Reads" readers giving it a positive rating, it looks like I did well and, it being in the self-help category, I did good too. The ones who like it best turns out to be someone who is educated or at least appreciates that everything is scientifically backed, likes a wry sense of humour, and really wants to do something about their procrastination. They also don't hold my constructed characters, a vehicle to illustrate some techniques, to too high a literary standard; still, ...more
Ryan
Very good. Seriously, halfway through reading this book I had a crazy burst of productivity. The action chapters are great, the science/history chapters somewhat less interesting, especially when you are reading the book to seek help!
Wanda
I was interested to learn that even pigeons and chimpanzees procrastinate. Somehow that makes me feel better, that I share this tendency with the entire animal kingdom.

The author also points out that nobody procrastinates in every facet of their life. There is always something that we do promptly and regularly without agonizing about it.

For me there are two factors: value and impulsiveness. I procrastinate about the things that I don't really value (e.g. housework). And I did learn a technique
...more
Sarah
So what does it say about me that I started this book and had to return it to the library before I got to chapter 3?

Okay, I finally finished this book. I think it helped that I listened to it. I really did like it, but I can't say it offered anything new or useful to me. Mostly it was a good reminder and motivator to procrastinate less. I like self help books and how they get me to reflect on how things are going.

I must say, I don't think I really cared for the author's style all that much. He s
...more
Pulkit
I really need to curb off my habitual procrastination. And I thought this book would do it for me. How wrong I was.

It starts off well by explaining what causes procrastination in psychological and evolutionary terms and I am glad to have gained that knowledge. The tendency that saved us ages ago has become risky in the modern world where we continuously need to control our urges and think on a long-term basis. Then there were a few chapters putting down the negative impact of procrastination on
...more
Elizabeth
I loved this. This was by far my favorite book on this subject which is my largest personal challenge in life.

I have not researched any of his sources and the many studies the author cites, and I do not plan to, so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of his book in the sense of larger society or science. But he does reference a LOT of experts and studies in various fields including economics, sociology, psychology, biology and more. It appeared to me that this author was EXTREMELY well versed in th
...more
Kate
Having been personally shamed by the author into finishing the book, I upgraded my rating from three stars to four and my tagline from "less stupid than many self-help books" to "an intelligent self-help book." It gave me some good ideas, though I kept putting off finishing it for some reason. Ha! Procrastination joke! I recommended it to my shrink as a resource for people who want to read more about dealing with procrastination. I would read more books by the author.

Actually, I'd really like to
...more
Vuka :3
This could possibly be the best self-help book I've ever read.

What makes it so great is that it isn't just a self-help book, it's a rich journey through the efforts put into understanding procrastination as a part of human nature and the results of those efforts.

This is NOT your average The Guide to Perfect Life supported by "I promise this will help you", ancient mystical techniques or anecdotal evidence.

This... is science... and Steel's integrational and inter-disciplinary approach to this sub
...more
Byron Wright
This similar to another book that I recently read on willpower. However, I much preferred the style of this book. That said, my wife read about 20 pages and was bored to tears.

This book really grabbed me because the early chapters talk about the ways that we procrastinate and why. In the midst of these examples, I saw a few that described me exactly.

The end of the book focuses on ways to prevent procrastination. I'm sure you will have heard of every technique listed there. However, seeing them i
...more
Ian Burrell
I bought this book on impulse at a train station on the commute to work. Since reading the book I have learned that impulsiveness is a cause of procrastination.

The book it an interesting read, exploring the psychological, cultural and social origins and causes of procrastination.

Through understanding how and why we procrastinate, with a few helpful tips, the book arms us to deal with our excessive procrastination.

It's early days, and I still procrastinate, but now I know I'm procrastinating and
...more
Hannah
I'll have to report back on whether I manage to implement any of my learning from this book!
April
The author seeks to provide a unified theory of procrastination and does an admirable job of it. I would give it a 4.5 stars if I could. I knock a half point off because he gives some very useful techniques only a brief mention and also fails to mention the person who created the ideas except in the footnotes. However, this is a book I would recommend to everyone, because it describes something that is part of the human condition so well.

The other procrastination book I highly recommend is The N
...more
Jane
I've read a few (not too many, just a few) books on procrastination, starting with Rita Emmett's The Procrastinator's Handbook, which was the first book to get me off my ass and developing a few good habits. However, self-help books tend towards navel-gazing extremes, making you fill out endless lists and diary entries to analyse your way out of a problem. I can see why someone added this book to a list called "Productivity Porn."

This book was different. The equation part of it helps you, if yo
...more
Eric
Mar 01, 2015 Eric rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eric by: Luke Meuhlhauser
Shelves: self-help
This is a book about procrastination, and I suppose not a bad one. Only about a third of the book is actually about the techinques the tagline promises and the rest of the book is about procrastination as a subject, or how procrastination evolved, its place in society, and other such facts which wasn't especially interesting, unfortunately. I came for the techniques. And the techniques are fairly good, but if you've read many self-help books before you'll soon realize there's not much new here. ...more
Crispy
I picked this up with high expectations because Dan Ariely gave it a positive review. The key ideas are worthwhile, but Steel's laboured explanations are tedious and his tone is sometimes irritatingly smug. The studies in the references sound interesting, but sadly, they're barely glossed over in the book.
Marshall
Fabulous book on the psychology of procrastination, and tips for how to overcome it. This book explores how we're hard-wired to procrastinate, ways modern society exacerbates the problem, and the economic costs of it.

I was worried the "equation" part of it would prove to be a pseudoscientific attempt to make it sound like he's quantified procrastination. I was pleasantly surprised that it is merely a helpful tool for understanding motivation:

Expectancy x Value
---------------------
Impulsiveness x
...more
Russ
Feb 25, 2015 Russ rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Procrastinators everywhere!
It's embarrassing how long it took me to get through this book, especially given the title! It shows I started about a month ago, but it really was a couple times before that where I'd check out the book and then never get around to actually reading it. But it does have a lot of good insight and ideas on how to stop procrastination. But just like any habit it takes time to get out of the habit of procrastinating - continuing to find ways to do things NOW, in every aspect of your life definitely ...more
Meredith
Page 97
Whether your procrastination lies in the Success, Self-development, or Intimacy cluster determines the price you pay for procrastination, as these three areas translate into three major costs: your wealth, health and happiness. Naturally, those who put off the Success cluster and its career or financial aspects will be less wealthy. Those who procrastinate on Self-development will experience poorer health, both of body and spirit. And though happiness is affected by the previous two clust
...more
Dharma
Sigh. The opening chapters on the brain and how it works, how it programmed towards procrastination is very good, but could have been seriously condensed. Chapter 5 & 6 (Personal and Economic cost of procrastination) are annoying, unnecessary and overly long. I skimmed the end of chapter 6 because seriously, it's obvious information and had been covered in 5 and the beginning of 6 more than enough.

I am cautiously hopeful that Steel will have *something* useful to say in the remaining 100 pag
...more
Ralph
Well, this book was not the Silver Bullet I had hoped for, since it did not cure me of the procrastination curse.

I am writing this review a year or so after reading the book, and my main takeaway was that the author blames impulsiveness for procrastination. That is an intriguing new thought that I had never had before, but in the end it didn't do anything to help me to stop procrastinating. But like all good ideas and insights, hopefully it is fermenting (not rotting!) in my brain on a slow boi
...more
Jonathan Widell
The author, Dr Piers Steel, takes good care of the reader right away. You know, it would be so easy to get bogged down in making jokes, just as I was: for instance, I kept telling myself to get that book instead of putting it off any longer etc. etc. Luckily, I did get the book. The author is wise enough to go through the motions and indulge in those self-deprecating jokes, just to get them out of the way. But then we are down to business. If you are too lazy to take the quiz in the first chapte ...more
Allison
Oct 20, 2013 Allison is currently reading it
10/20/13 - I checked this book out of library because of this sentence on the book jacket - "...or if you think you procrastinate because you're a perfectionist -- you're wrong." I'm a horrible procrastinator. Currently, I have a test tomorrow that I'm not fully prepared for and a paper due tomorrow that I've not completed. I chronically have a list of projects/chores/errands to complete that I put off for trivial reasons. I'm never happy with the current state of my (1) home, (2) school-work, ( ...more
Anneke
This book was, to my surprise, very readable for me. While I normally never read non-fiction, let alone self-help, 'The Procrastination Equation' was able to keep me interested. The tips and methods that the author recommends look useful, although I haven't tried them out yet (which proves that simply reading this book won't end your procastination habit, unfortunately). I thought the last chapter, in which we see some character by the names of Eddie, Tom and Valerie, use the strategies felt a b ...more
Fatima
I skimmed this book and thought it was moderately interesting. I have always been curious about procrastination because I am at heart a planner and only rarely procrastinate (but when I do, it's always in the same areas). It turns out that procrastination is about impulsivity. Things I get really impulsive about: not sticking to a diet (I.e. bingeing on chocolate or bingeing on coffee/caffeine), letting myself get ridiculously behind on laundry that needs to be hand washed, and not finishing art ...more
Katherine
I was given this to read by someone who thought it might give me some ideas for helping my son who definitely has some challenges in this area. I gave this three stars because for a self-help book it is pleasantly full of actual research. However, I ended skimming through a lot of padding, and there really isn't anything new or particularly helpful here.
February Four
Besides the useful but also obvious equation (effort, value, time), I'm not sure I'm getting much value from this book. Rather than procrastinate reading it, I'm dropping it. No fault of Steel, though--it's not his fault I don't like his message because it rings SO close to home... besides, I have other things to do. ^_^
Victoria Pike
If I could give this book ten stars I would. Timing can be everything and I really needed this in my life. It has inspired me to get a lot of decluttering done around the house this last weekend.

It gave me lots of great tools without too much filler. The stories were great and illustrated the points directly.
Gabriel Hernández
This book is awesome. Before I get it, I believe that what happened to me and my activities were only my problem, but now I see procrastination is very common problem and this book give some advices that help us to improve our productivity and start or restart the things that we should have done or begun before.
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Arta de a (nu) pierde timpul. Vindecă delăsarea, fii eficient Procrastinarea

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