Why am I reading this book? Because we’re still ignoring tiny little fix-it jobs 18 months into our 1-year project. According to the book’s procrastination quiz (what is this, YM magazine?), I’m a fraction removed from the top 10% worst procrastinators – a group he dubs “tomorrow is your middle name” (pages 5-6). Let’s delve into some self-help for the sake of DIY-avoidance – and we’ll have empty picture frames no more. Procrastination Equation, here I come.
Hackles go up on page 1: “my work has received international acclaim”. Oh no, don’t be that guy, Piers. This is not a good start – by page 8 I’m bored and by page 13 I’m having conversations on the side with myself. Gag reflex kicks in at page 15: invented people like “Tom” and “Mary” arrive for story examples.
“Impulsive people find it difficult to plan work ahead of time and even after they start, they are easily distracted. Procrastination inevitably follows” (page 14).
I think that’s the thesis of my entire blog? More impulsive sorts will use task-related anxiety to procrastinate, rather than taking it as a clue to get an early start (page 13). Uh huh…. Want some data with that?
Hours per day spent watching TV (page 69):
- 4.7 (U.S.)
- 3.3 (Canada)
Hours per day spent reading:
- 24 minutes (international average). He doesn’t specify but I presume this means reading books specifically.
I don’t care about research in the field of procrastination. Do you? If so: Piers covers procrastination psychology, its evotionary background and 3 main types – procrastination because you expect failure, because you won’t enjoy or don’t value the task, and because you handle time only in the short term with no acknowledgment of how long a thing should take. Then we learn that distractions are on the rise and that Facebook presents considerable temptation for procrastinators.
“[I]dentify distractions and cleanse their accompanying clues” (page 179).
This is the tip we’ve all been waiting for: turn off your email auto-alert. He claims this will give you back a month of productive time per year. The end comes as a surprise, and you’ll be glad: 28% of the book is bibliography and indices.
On clutter, we agree: time spent looking for things increases the chances that “some tangential tidbit will distract you” (page 180). But I’d already solved that, long before the book – Threw out most everything in our apartment. Deleted all but a handful of blogs and bookmarks. Stopped using Facebook. These tips? I give you them for free.
Covers Canada? We got mentioned in the TV statistics?
1 reason to read it? I prefer Dave Navarro’s More Time Now - it’s free – and far superior.
Conclusion: I know Oprah is pretty popular… and Dr. Phil is pretty rich… but this isn’t my style. The book‘s neither self-help, nor a textbook. Possibly, the title is a sneaky and appealing trick.