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

The Procrastination Equation by Dr. Piers SteelWhy do kitchens need to be cleaned the night before the final exams? How come the arrival of a new email suddenly seems more important than a crucial sales pitch? And why does a healthy diet always start tomorrow? The Procrastination Equation tells us why we do what we do—or in this case, don’t.

Procrastination has troubled us for a long time: Mark Antony, St. Augustine, even Krishna spoke about it. Writing with the humour, humanity and solid scientific research reminiscent of Stumbling on Happiness and Freakonomics, Dr. Piers Steel explains why we procrastinate—why we knowingly and willingly put off a course of action despite recognizing we’ll be worse off for it. What’s more, his study shows that despite procrastination making us poorer, fatter and unhappier, we’re putting things off like never before— procrastination is on the rise.

Dr. Steel has spent the last ten years of his life devoted to studying procrastination, and the decades before that embodying it. He knows his subject both as a practitioner and as a scientist, and offers accessible techniques for controlling and improving motivation. Everyone from the dithering student to the dallying employee will recognize something of themselves in this engaging and insightful book.


Praise for Dr. Piers Steel’s The Procrastination Equation:

Featured on the Psychology Today website

“I put off writing this blurb ’til the last minute. I thought it was because I was too busy, but after reading The Procrastination Equation, I know the real reasons. Piers Steel will help you tackle the goals — big and small — that always seemed just a little out of reach.” —Richard Florida, author of The Rise of The Creative Class and Who’s Your City

The Procrastination Equation will teach you how to bust the excuses that are preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life. You’ll learn some surprising facts about procrastination as well as practical techniques for short-circuiting the temptation to dawdle. So don’t put it off any longer. Read this book. Today.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“Procrastination is the saffron spice of human behavior, where even small amounts of this tendency can shatter the best of intentions. In this illuminating book Piers Steel shows us the secrets of procrastination, how it affects us and how we will, one day, be able to prevail.” —Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality

“Everything you ever wanted to know about procrastination but never got around to reading.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A useful, eye-opening book.” —Booklist

“There’s plenty of advice, but this is much more than just a self-help book. The Procrastination Equation is also a perceptive reflection on the state of the modern world and it offers profound insights into the value of interdisciplinary academic research. It’s also highly entertaining.” —Straight.com

“This is a book that is well worth the cover price, and one that everyone should read.” —Family Friendly Working

“In fact, even just having finished the book last night, I'm already planning to pick it up and read through it again.” —Rosemaryinwheat, Live Journal Blog

“Steel has produced an exhaustive look at the research, history, definition, forms, and treatment of procrastination. Exhaustive may be underselling it … The research, history, and forms of procrastination sections of his book are its strength and most captivating.” —Unclutterer

“Why do we put off doing things we should?  Piers Steel has the answers from his research on the subject, along with paths toward effective change.  As narrated by Pete Larkin, this audiobook is one of the best self help titles around, and Larkin an excellent reader whose timing and delivery will keep even the most chronic procrastinator nodding instead of nodding off.” —Tower Review

“His engaging guide will appeal to a wide audience of past, present, and future procrastinators and researchers trying to get a handle on the science of putting things off.” —Publisher's Weekly

“Steel, a leading researcher on the science of motivation and procrastination, outlines several practical action plans to help change your habits, and ultimately your life, for the better. Thoroughly engrossing, with lots of examples, exercises and humorous quotes, this is a useful reference book for the procrastinators among us who seriously wish or need to change.” —The University of British Columbia Library News

“The book is well written, and logical in its structure which assist the reader in understanding what is an increasingly important concept. If procrastination can be reduced or avoided, then we can all achieve more and be healthier for it. This is a book that is well worth the cover price, and one that everyone should read.” —Family Friendly Working

“You will have to read this book to know what intriguing notions these are — so don't put it off.” —The Examiner Newspaper (Australia)

Genre/Category: Nonfiction—Popular Psychology

Australian/New Zealand rights, Pier 9/Murdoch Books
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Dr. Piers Steel
Photo credit: Irene Winter

Dr. Piers Steel studies irrational decision-making, particularly procrastination. His research has received international recognition and been reported in hundred of media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, the Globe & Mail, Scientific American, and Business Week. Dr. Steel teaches Organizational Behaviour, Personality & Individual Differences, and Human Resources at the University of Calgary.

The website for The Procrastination Equation can be found at www.procrastinus.com