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

Piers Steel PhD · 3 HN comments
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Amazon Summary
“ 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….So don’t put it off any longer. Read this book. Today.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind “Illuminating….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 The Upside of Irrationality and Predictably Irrational Using a mix of psychology, evolutionary biology, self-help, and more than a decade of research, Dr. Piers Steel, the world’s foremost authority on procrastination, offers a tried and true method helping us to identify, understand, and break free of our self-destructive bad habits and create more positive lives for ourselves.
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It's a very common problem, perhaps especially among programmers: PG talked about primarily working on a computer that had no Internet, RMS talked about using only a computer with no browser, and limited graphical capabilities.

There's a book written about the science behind motivation called The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel:

The following has a pretty good summary:

Also good seems to be The Procrastination Equation [1]– the key insight is that there are (at least!) 4 variables involved in why we don't do things that we say we want to do:

* Expectancy, which is your own estimation of how likely you are to complete a task

* Value, which is how important something is to you

* Impulsiveness, determined by the environment that you're in

* Delay, which is the amount of time between whatever you're doing, and the consequence or implication of the thing you're doing.

Getting things done requires dealing with all of the above variables. "Screw Motivation, You Need Discipline" essentially addresses Impulsiveness- it says to be less impulsive, by cultivating good habits. Sure, but that's just 25% of the battle.


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