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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Piers Steel (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall

Too abstract, not enough practical advice

For a book about time management, "The Procrastination Equation" sure wastes a lot of your time. The book is long on theory and short on concrete advice. This is the only book I've ever read on procrastination, but my guess is that there must be something better out there. (I suppose this book might be useful if you have a general interest in psychology, and are not simply looking for a self-help book.)

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Sean
  • BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States
  • 04-05-11

A mixed bag with few concrete techniques

The book was interesting, but I didn't come away with any sense that it would actually help me stop procrastinating. The author spends a lot of time telling you what an authority he is and how important his work has become. But he never delivers on that promise as far as I can tell.

He reviews the basic issues that affect procrastination--motivation, distractions, etc. and then develops an "equation" which he continuously mentions as though he can calculate some precise procrastination value for any situation. I found the approach odd because he inserts the "equation" throughout the book but it doesn't add to the discussion. I don't need pseudo-math to show me that if I am less motivated and more distracted I will procrastinate more.

I also didn't find many "aha moments" when listening. Insights such as "people who are impulsive are easily distracted and procrastinate more" are not exactly thunderbolts.

He does include some exercises at the end of each chapter, but I mostly forgot them as I listened into the next chapter.

It feels like he couldn't make up his mind whether to write a self-help book or an academic study.

I could recommend it to someone interested in the general behavior of procrastination, but not to someone who wants concrete examples and plans to help themselves be more productive.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • EL DORADO HILLS, CA, United States
  • 11-27-12

A complete waste of time

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone with lots of time to kill.

Would you ever listen to anything by Piers Steel again?

No Way

Would you be willing to try another one of Pete Larkin’s performances?


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Any additional comments?

The book gave many many many long winded examples of procrastination with very few solutions.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Have yet to finish it…

Any additional comments?

Not the easiest book to listen too. Have downloaded and listen to 30 plus hrs. of other books since I got this one. I have come back to this for a while but unable to get through it even on cross country flights…

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • michael
  • hemet, CA, United States
  • 04-04-11

Extremly Scientific

The book reads like a PHD thesis. Great if you are in the business and can easily follow the "lingo," but hard to follow and comfortably understand if you are listening for pleasure. He also uses too many fantastical references that make his main point hard to catch.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Yardley, PA, United States
  • 01-19-11

I'll wait until tomorrow to write my review!

I made it through this audiobook once already and am on my second pass, a great book with some valuable tools to help tackle that damn procrastination!

If you are one of the millions that procrastinate and should be taking care of bills, getting to studying, working on your fitness goals but instead are trolling Audible, then this book is for you ;)


22 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent Book, Mediocre Narrator

This book is full of excellent information, but the Narrator was too fast! I found it hard to absorb the information at the pace. I don't regret listening though It is an excellent book.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Awesome Book!

Very modern and up to date information. I have listened to it 3 times now which I usually don't do with a book but I learned something new each time and the book is very entertaining also. I would say it helped me focus and realize some of the time wasters in my life. Highly recommended this book to anyone.

17 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzanne
  • Ames, IA, United States
  • 03-05-11

Aggressive, Accusatory, Awful

The style of writing is aggressive and accusatory. The author writes "YOU put things off", "YOU don't enjoy work".

Actually, no, I don't.

I wanted some tips to motivate my graduate students and help them avoid pitfalls, but I'll have to look elsewhere. This finger wagging toward the reader was pervasive, not just used once or twice to emphasize a point. I found this style of writing offensive.

19 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Just Gotta Do It

I enjoyed the content and the narration is fine. As with any help book, what's most important is application. This book has many techniques to tweak your habits and limit your procrastination. Download the file that accompanies the book for the survey and charts the book references.