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Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change
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Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,786 ratings  ·  315 reviews
Why do we sabotage our own best intentions? How can we eliminate procrastination from our lives for good? Based on current psychological research and supplemented with clear strategies for change, this concise guide will help readers finally break free from self-destructive ideas and habits, and move into freedom and accomplishment. With numerous practical tips for change, ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 26th 2013 by TarcherPerigee (first published October 29th 2013)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  2,786 ratings  ·  315 reviews

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John Martindale
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was short and sweet. I liked his example of the butcher shop that has a sign that reads “Today meat is at regular prices, tomorrow all meat is free” and when people come in tomorrow, the Butcher than just points to the sign and tells the person to come back tomorrow, only for them to return and the Butcher again points to the sign. This captures our regular experience of thinking “I don't feel like doing it now, I'll to it tomorrow” only for the morrow to come, and again we think “I do ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great read, I liked how the strategies of the book are interrelated. It's well written, delivers what it promises. One of the main points of the book which is implementation intention reminded me of The Power of Habit, which reaffirms the importance of being conscious about our habits and how they are affecting ours lives.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Procrastination has been a huge problem for me for years and right now the damage caused by it is disastrous. Plagued with guilt and regrets about the inefficient use of my time in the past, I procrastinated the last few weeks by looking up tons of info about procrastination; oh the irony :p
I read so much material on this topic now and even though this book is really short (easily read in 2-3 hours), it has been the most helpful.

Together with his website "" and his "Don't Delay
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Review originally published 31 July 2016 at Falling Letters.

Solving the Procrastination Puzzle is a book written by an author who really knows what he's talking about. Timothy A. Pychyl is a Canadian academic known in psychology for his research on procrastination. He founded the Procrastination Research Group in 1995 and has published numerous academic articles about procrastination. He put together this book to organize the ideas published on his blog and podcasts (xvi), and to "communicate id
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audio version of this one. It was decent for a self help type of book. It was short, so that was a plus as sometimes they can be a little dry.

I learned a few things about procrastination.
1. Tomorrow never comes. We put off things until tomorrow and when tomorrow gets here, we continue to put it off again.
2. Procrastinators would rather have instant gratification than dealing with something unpleasant. I would rather play games on my phone than start whatever chore. The unpleasant
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help, reference
I've been an avid listener of Pychyl's iProcrastinate podcast for quite some time now, though I'm still working my way through his back catalogue. Nothing in this book is new if you've listened to his podcast or read his blog on Psychology Today, but it does do a great job of summing up current thinking on procrastination as well as give concrete, helpful advice on "just get[ting] started," as he puts it.

The only reason I'm not giving this book five stars is the presence of the Carpe Diem comic
Anantha Narayanan
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it
The main cause of procrastination for current generation is mobile phones. Step 1 is to identify if they are procrastinating or not. RescueTime app helps you monitor which apps or websites you frequent, daywise app helps you to have E-breaks pre fixed. Have a productive day.
Ian D
Good(ish). And predictable.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
It was an alright book, too short for my taste.
When I finally managed to get used to the author's voice and his way of thinking, the book was almost over.

Has some good tips, nothing new though.
What I did find that helps me to beat procrastination is indeed the `just start` method. And sometimes you really have to dig deeper if you keep putting something off, it might be an underlying issue, not just pure procrastination.
Christopher Anderson
Nov 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio
Skip this one and read "Eat that Frog". Its significantly better.
Aug 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A very boring book, with not much to offer. Most of the points made in this short audiobook are derivatives of common sense.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: advice
It definitely had some good things to think about; two of the key takeaways for me are:
1. Procrastination can be triggered by a few different sorts of feelings that need to be dealt with in different ways, so it's worth seeing what you typically procrastinate about and try to spot a pattern.
2. Deciding in advance how you will react to potential obstacles (i.e. making "implementation intentions") completely counteracts the effect of depleted willpower. This fits with willpower not being what lets
Zahraa A. J
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Just get started"

Short & straightforward!

I found this accidentally and decided to listen to the audiobook since I was very interested in what it had to offer, it was also very short so that was a win-win situation.

I was wondering whether it can really solve the procrastination puzzle, and it did! This book certainly does not let you down. It gives real-life scenarios, analyzing the issue and providing the solution to it with simple steps. All the while reminding the reader of the importan
Arun Ravindran
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book on tackling procrastination by telling you the underlying scientific reasons and strategies to fight them. Found this more useful that other "habit building" books because the reason I couldn't maintain a habit was not the lack of a system but procrastination. For me understanding the real productivity killer was the key. Your results might vary. But eventually we all need to tackle procrastination for any long term project in life.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
As I got the audio book, the intro section was way too long. However once that was over, the advice and examples provided were very on point and useful. Just proves that sometimes the best advice is the simplest one.
Sajjad Azim
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Short, Concise and to the point.
Mihai Stanimir
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great little book for people who keep postponing important tasks.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Easy to read, good advice. Based on scientific research.
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: procrastinators, duh.
Quite short and to the point. Recommended.
Robert Kamerer
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full of useful strategies. If you do tend to procrastinate, definitely pick this one up!
Pegah Mdp
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Common knowledge repeated over and over again!
David Gellé
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
“you can delegate the activity but not the responsibility; you can share the praise but not the blame.”
― Timothy A. Pychyl, Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change

“Just get started.”
― Timothy A. Pychyl, Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is so clear and concise, and it's composed of scientific research that can help people make meaningful changes in their lives. One thing that would make this book even better would be a chapter on mindfulness, but I guess the author has written articles on this subject elsewhere:

Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The value of this book is that it is a digest of my research, and most important, this book provides a concise summary of key strategies to reduce procrastination in your life."

Perhaps, like me, you've already heard about or been told Pychyl's most basic strategy (as it's the advice most often cited in nearly all how-to articles on procrastination): just get started.

For years this simple advice baffled me. What do you mean, just get started?! Because getting started IS the obstacle. Or so I th
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio_en, psychology
It says “a concise guide“ on the cover and it is exactly that (maybe a bit too concise). But that’s what I wanted, I didn’t want to spend hours and hours reading a scientific study whose results boil down to the slogan “just do it”. Here it is toned down to “just start doing it” so as not to scare us by being too aggressive. The other mantra is “tomorrow I won’t feel like doing it either”. Very true. And I feel that’s all I need to know about procrastination. There are some chapters with concise ...more
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an excellent and practical book about ways to procrastinate less. Dr. Pychyl is a psychologist who has been studying and blogging about procrastination for decades, and in this very concentrated (i.e. short) book he explains many of the causes and mechanisms of procrastination along with approaches to over come them.

The book offers no quick-fixes, which is a plus, but it did introduce me to the concept of an implementation intention which, while not a quick-fix, is an experimentally vali
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental
I read a couple of books on that topic and this one is by far the best one. This is for several reasons:
This book is relatively short and while the author argues that this is because of the nature of the topic, I think the book speaks better to me because it cuts out all the filling material, that self-help books are typically bloated with.
This book also showed me much better than any other book why I procrastinate, which in turn makes me better understand how I can beat that problem. The scient
Eren Keşküş
I certainly could relate to the situations and emotions described in the book. The author shared outcomes of social experiments which I found very interesting.
The book was informative in general, and I feel like I did gain insight.
I think I will be able to analyze myself and recognize my patterns better.
It also made me to understand that, that is an actual problem that many battle with. The fact that it is an actual problem, and one can sabotage themselves left me rather with bitter emotions.
Jigar Ghanchi
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book that kickstarted it all.
Was never really a reader and suffered from chronic Procrastination a lot. After watching a few ted talks and some monkeys in action I decided to learn more about this topic. And this was the book I stumbled upon.

It was short,concise and scientific with it's method which was perfect for a beginner like me. Started with the audio book,pen and paper. Write down everything I could learn and tried applying in the practical way as mentioned in the book and surprisingl
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you struggle with procrastination in school, work, or any other part of your life, you should read this book.Tim Pychyl is the procrastination guru. I've seen him talk and he really knows his stuff. In this book, he writes in a way that is easy to read and easy to understand. It helps you better understand where procrastination comes from and is really helpful to counsellors and gives great suggestions on how to work with it. It really is written for for people just to read on their own, it's ...more
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