Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel

The Procrastination Equation

The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel takes on the myths and misunderstandings behind procrastination and motivation. The book shows us how procrastination affects our lives, health, careers, and happiness and what we can do about it.

The Procrastination Equation

The book introduces the Procrastination Equation, which is Motivation = Expectancy x Value divided by Impulsiveness x Delay. The equation explains why people procrastinate and provides a framework for overcoming procrastination.

Four Aspects of the Equation

To overcome procrastination, we need to improve the four aspects of the equation, which are expectancy, value, impulsiveness, and delay. The book provides practical tips and strategies for improving each aspect.


Procrastination maintains perfectionism. Sometimes we feel the need to do everything perfectly. When we get busy, we fear that there is no time to do a quality job on everything, and so again, we do nothing at all. Procrastination may be caused by a fear of success.

Useful Takeaways

  • To overcome procrastination, we need to increase our expectancy, increase the value of an activity or task, decrease our impulsiveness, and decrease the delay of the expected reward.
  • Procrastination results from lowering motivation too much.
  • Impulsiveness leads procrastinators to be disorganized and distractible
  • what people want now seems more attractive than the true goal.
  • 70% of students suffer from impulsiveness.
  • Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.
  • Often greater risk is involved in postponement than in making a wrong decision.

What I Liked

Absolutely brilliant book. This book will change your life. A behavioral scientist with actual data and formulas as to why we procrastinate – AND what you can do about it. Simple, easy to understand, and very applicable (instead of another rah rah inspirational opinion book).

Now that I’ve procastinated this review for 10+ years…I can officially say that I’ve learned my lesson from this book and have never procrastinated again…

…except know I know why I procrastinated and have been slowly getting better (seriously). Procrastination is not a character flaw. It’s a habit that you can change.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing – brilliant book.

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