Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

The Procrastination Equation: How to stop putting things off and start getting things done ~Piers Steel, PhD.


I feel honored to have been chosen to read this book and share it with you on my blog.  No marketing group held this one up for me to read, this book offer came from the author himself and Harper Publishing sent me a copy to read at his request.  It was a savvy expose’ about a serious Pandemic and the workbook section provides a way out and a recovery for individuals. An impressive amount of research and study has gone into the work and with humor and dexterity the author has step by step presented to us his findings and tangible “how tos”.

This self professed procrastinating professor has his own life lessons in this area.  He knows firsthand how this habit can lead to failure, confusion and disappointment.  He decided to take up the cause and is the world’s leading researcher on motivation and procrastination.  He has spent decades studying, practicing, and recovering; currently teaching at the University Of Calgary School Of Business and is providing us with the definitive resource.

I enjoyed very much the amusing anecdotes, examples and was extremely impressed by the easy quizzes and explanations which made the book an enjoyable read and resource.   Then again I need to say this is not one of my problems as I am an extremely organized and responsible individual, who turned in papers ahead of time, can inspire myself to great feats and prowess, and have successfully overcome perfectionism in my youth.  Then again, since my last job rejection letter in my 2010-11 search project arrived, I have been working on my income taxes, cleaning cupboards, and reading this book like crazy and have not even taken a look at any opportunities which might be available.  I have come to a complete stop – so I guess I am procrastinating with diversions of a different kind.

I was not aware that procrastination was costing the USA trillions of dollars in productivity – Ah, let me check that email that just popped up.

“Emmett’s Law: The dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing the task itself.”

Some of the research mentioned in the book is from books I have just finished reading.  They are all pointing to the same direction. Mention was made of Dr. Kessler’s (Yale) work on food – The End of Overeating, Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating, which I just finished for book group, for which he won a Nobel Prize; Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Revisited, and oh, excuse me, Facebook says I have two new comments on my status.

“All the resources of psychology and the social sciences are mobilized”… with the aim of controlling people by finding… “the best ways to take advantage of their ignorance and to exploit their irrationality.” Huxley

As a person who gave up TV, when I thought my kiddo was becoming hooked and has only had TV for short periods of time, I was amazed that the folks in the USA watch an average of 5 hours a day, whereas in Finland they watch about 2 hours.  Whoo hoo! My turn just came up on my group Scrabble game on line – I’ll be back.

“Diabolically while the Internet has made it easier for us to work, it has also created a series of behavioral traps that make it harder for us to work at all.”

Wow what more should I say?  I think I will just get a bowl of M&Ms because they always help me write, but I think I will only eat the yellow ones right now.  This is a powerful book and resource and it can make a difference in people’s lives.  The workbook is very helpful to the individual and to management.

This book also made me cry.  It made me very sad.  I can see why the environment is in trouble, while political matters are proceeding blindly/inhumanely, I understand that impulsivity is being promoted 24/7 – because of GREED and profit margins and I am just thinking folks need to stop – come to a complete halt – and I am wondering if we have numbed our brains and our thinking capacity to a neatly avoiding state.  I don’t want to believe that my mind and choices are being so controlled in this devastating, brain drain fashion; I do believe it is true.  So then I wonder about to whom shall I talk or spend time?  Who are the people truly living this life and where will the spirited, leaders come from?

“Once effort disappears, failure is inevitable.”

It was important for me to note that religious and spiritual leaders have been struggling with procrastination since nearly the beginning of time.  It has now just reached and evolved into massive dis-ease with destructive results.

What happened to having a meaning full life?  Can you tell me where it is?  What makes you think you are not being controlled, because we all know this is about others, not us?

This book is a good natured poke to return us to our better selves and inspire us to find more satisfying outcomes and de-light; I believe you will like reading this one.

This book is available from this site and although I received a free copy of this book, no one or institution paid me to review this book or write what I presented here.  If you order any of the books listed here from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

A powerful book for the individual and for folks in management positions – I rate it 5 ladybugs
5 Ladybugs

If you would like to read more here you might wish to subscribe by RSS or via email – directions are at the top of the page.

If you enjoyed what you read here please feel free to share on Twitter, or Facebook or Stumbleupon or any of the portals listed under the share button.  Thank you

Related Reading:
The End of Overeating by Dr. David Kessler
Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
We Have Met the Enemy by Daniel Akst
Agenda for a New Economy by David Korten


15 Responses to “The Procrastination Equation: How to stop putting things off and start getting things done ~Piers Steel, PhD.”

  1. Piers Steel Says:

    Appreciate you reviewing the book and so glad you liked it. Surprised that it made you sad, but since you just came off reading Huxley’s and Kessler’s books first, I can see why. Huxley was commenting on this trend when it first started and Kessler focused on its expression in the area of food — tremendous efforts are being made to increase our consumption and shape what we buy. Not all of this is or will be to our benefit as we watch too much TV, eat too much, and of course procrastinate. Ultimately, we get distracted and fail to pursue what is really important for our lives. However, there are steps we can take to put ourselves back in the driver’s seat of our lives. And, the good news, often it is pretty easy to do once you know how.


    Patricia Reply:

    Piers Steel,
    I was saddened by all the control over our lives and thinking -how can we be the most loving of people, the most just people if we can not freely think and problem-solve.

    It is an excellent book and I hope we can get lots of folks to read it and use the self-help section

    Thank you for writing here – so many authors do not and I have enjoyed our emails – Thank you for thinking of me

  2. Antonia Says:

    Interesting topic! Clever broaching of our online distractibility, Patricia! It’s truly an intriguing yoga, balancing staying in touch, making oneself available, yet protecting personal space.

    I, too, tend to get my papers in early, and stay on top of work. But, I still find your post offers more to contemplate. Thank you!

    Patricia Reply:

    After reading your post on Hitting Send today and this book and Mindful Eating – I think we all need to be aware of distractions and how we are being controlled…and studied….

    I think you might enjoy Mindful Eating too

    Thank you for dropping by and commenting – your words are always appreciated. Good luck on your twitter adventure

  3. Talon Says:

    The art of distraction seems to be the way the world operates these days and it is heartbreaking how susceptible everyone is. Impossible, too, to not be affected in one way or another. And I can’t help but think it’s human nature to put off things that should be done until they need serious attention – and often the serious attention is too late and it ends in disaster. And that never bodes well for the earth and our limited time on it.

    My favorite procrastination quote is an old Spanish proverb:

    “Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”
    Talon recently posted..Loose ChangeMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I adored loose change today – made me laugh and I appreciate your good words here.

    I so like the proverb and I think it is true!

  4. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. too many procrastinate and I think we’re all prone to it. This month I can’t simply think about it .. and we are wasting our lives .. I’d love to be fulfilling every minute – to a point I am – but I procrastinate to get a breather and a break ..

    Fortunately Spring has arrived and I am moving my butt and sorting things out .. clearing the flat a little and generally must achieve loads this month .. I suspect I really will need to get up early (early!) ..

    Cheers .. sounds a well researched book and a good read .. love Talon’s proverb quote above … in fact my mother says that to me .. go do what needs to be done today, don’t leave it for tomorrow! Wise woman .. cheers and enjoy the weekend … Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Ash – thats what A is for My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    The advertisers and marketer are keen to have us distracted as possible –

    I have started planning my down time and rest periods so that I can see where I am procrastinating clearly and not let it become a habit or an avoidance. We all need time off.

    Time off is not very restorative if we have something hanging that needs to be completed.

    Talon’s proverb is great!

  5. Fred H Schlegel Says:

    Some days it feels as if every gadget invented has been focused on defocusing any attention span I have left. Looks like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing…
    Fred H Schlegel recently posted..Leadership on a CliffMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you for coming by – after reading your blog for awhile, I think you would really appreciate this book – very well written, and full of just valuable information.

    You are welcome

  6. Galen Pearl Says:

    A great review of an intriguing book. An interesting study of a universal practice. Lots to think about. Also enjoyed the last post about the fox–that was a special treat!
    Galen Pearl recently posted..There is no ThemMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Hello Galen,
    I have been having computer problems this weekend….this is a very amazing – productive book and I am sure it will become a definitive MBA text -and I think many people would benefit from it as it is a pleasant read and has very doable resources for making changes.

    The fox post was fun to experience and write…a bit like a crow on a wire! – Maybe they were inspired for synchronicity?

  7. susan Says:

    Hi Patricia! How tempting to say I’ll put this book on my list of books to read…..later. Ha! When it comes to being distracted, for me that is MonkeyMind on the loose. If I don’t get things done because of Monkey being too actively nuts, I know it is time for meditation and centering. That’s like putting Monkey on meds – it works great!

    Patricia Reply:


    Yes, I too find that a bit of meditation and centering goes a long way – like Chris Edgar’s book on productivity…then again I think several of my daughters truly have huge procrastination habits and it is making their lives not so fun.

    As a responsibility junkie, it was a bit un-nerving to think so many of those papers are not being written because it was just more interesting to go for a beer with friends and the value was not in the learning experience.

    The chapter on the equation is quite outstanding…and clarifying

  8. Patricia Says:

    Attention ALL:
    The Author offering a copy of his book in a give away – just tell us your best procrastination story or your best anti- procrastination technique and you will be entered to win!

    Send us some good comments and on the 28th We well let you know who won