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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-03-07
- Reviewer: Staff
In his absorbing first book Steel looks closely at the oft-misunderstood habit of procrastination. Usually seen as laziness, procrastination stems from the mismatch between human evolution and modern society. Steel, a reformed procrastinator who calls procrastination his "life's work," studied the subject by conducting original research and analyzing hundreds of published cross-discipline studies. His carefully crafted volume describes what he calls the "intention-action gap" and explains why so many people are driven to delay. Early chapters, from "Portrait of a Procrastinator" to "The Economic Cost of Procrastination" take the reader on a vivid tour of the consequences of procrastination and analyze why humans are wired to wait. Though Steel is perhaps too abstruse in describing the results of some findings, most of his writing is clear, never more so than when associated with the biology underlying procrastination. "Action points" offer practical advice for readers who have identified their procrastination tendencies. Though some of the author's tools are self-help book staples, Steel adapts them to his subject. 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. (Jan.)