The Procrastination Equation
January 15, 2011 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Procrastination, it turns out, has nothing to do with perfectionism, rebelliousness or self-handicapping. After a decade-long effort reviewing the psychological research, Dr. Piers Steel of the University of Calgary has come up with The Procrastination Equation which explains exactly why we procrastinate. The equation allows us to come up with behavioral solutions (e.g. if having trouble keeping to a diet, put a lock on the refrigerator). But some object that this leaves no room for the role of willpower
posted by storybored (17 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: The equation idea is cool but this is basically an ad for a book and an article about another guy or two who wrote a book. No big deal but thinnish for a MeFi post. -- jessamyn

I procrastinate because I am lazy. It took me five decades of effort to learn that.
posted by Ardiril at 6:40 PM on January 15, 2011

I'm not good at procrastinating. I'm going to practice by seeing how long I can put off buying this pseudo-psych book.

I'll bet it's a long time.
posted by Scattercat at 6:43 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

I wonder what he was supposed to have been doing when he came up with that.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:43 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

I'll read it later.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:45 PM on January 15, 2011 [6 favorites]

I'll read it later.

FUCK YOU. I ran in here, all hot and bothered, just to make that joke.

posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:46 PM on January 15, 2011 [7 favorites]

Metafilter: I ran in here, all hot and bothered, just to make [a] joke.
posted by stbalbach at 6:48 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

Cliff's notes?
posted by Theloupgarou at 6:51 PM on January 15, 2011

I am skeptical of scientific discoveries which debut in Self-Help Book form rather than Peer-Reviewed Journal Article form.
posted by griphus at 6:51 PM on January 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

I guess I should get back to writing my thesis now.
posted by analog at 6:51 PM on January 15, 2011

I am currently reading this book and read a couple or so chapters to start with and then proceeded to look for answers in the later chapters.
So far I have read a total of 4 chapters and I would say that is okay. Perhaps 3.6 stars out of 5 on amazon.

It is an interesting mathematical equation he comes up with and I can agree with it but I have read far too much on procrastination that I wonder if his book is the best out there. I was already aware that impulsivity is what matters and that willpower is something that is being looked at from a different lens in the research through a few other articles.

Procrastination is a confluence of multiple factors and you do get a good overall picture from his book. There are some places I think there is more rambling than necessary (a few only though) and I think he can do better if he made it a bit smaller and shortened it to be more targeted. While I appreciate the writing from an academic standpoint, I would prefer a slightly more condensed version. (based on the selective reading that I have done so far).
posted by iNfo.Pump at 6:53 PM on January 15, 2011

Piers Steel is one of the most badass academic names I've heard in a long time.
posted by lilac girl at 6:55 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


While I can appreciate your viewpoint, Dr.Piers has academic papers written in quite a few journals and even mentions them. I have not fact checked him but he does mention a couple or so journals specifically.

Self-help books are a better way to get to the masses rather than tell them Here's an academic article and "what the research on procrastination tells us" - IMO.
posted by iNfo.Pump at 6:56 PM on January 15, 2011

I'll finish this post tomorrow unless i don't get out of bed till evening.i still need to do yesterday's dishes, laundry, wash the dirt covered car, and bring in last weeks mail.
posted by tustinrick at 6:58 PM on January 15, 2011

Me, to slovenly co-worker: Dude, have you EVER ironed a shirt?

Him: Nah. You wear 'em a few times, the wrinkles smooth right out.

Me: .......

Procrastination is sometimes the answer. Not necessarily the RIGHT answer, but AN answer.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:04 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I didn't even get around to posting here... oh wait, there is hope.
posted by sammyo at 7:10 PM on January 15, 2011

posted by griphus at 7:11 PM on January 15, 2011

I procrastinate because it's more enjoyable to read the interwebs than it is to work.
posted by jokeefe at 7:11 PM on January 15, 2011

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