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This is not a book for Bill Gates or Steven Spielberg. Clearly they have no trouble getting stuff done. For the great majority of us, though, what a comfort it is to discover we’re not wastrels and slackers, but doers . . . in our own way. It may sound counterintuitive, but according to philosopher John Perry, you can accomplish a lot by putting things off. He calls it “structured procrastination.”
Celebrating a nearly universal character flaw, The Art of Procrastination is a wise, charming, compulsively readable book—really, a tongue-in-cheek argument of ideas. Perry offers ingenious strategies, like the defensive to-do list (“1. Learn Chinese”) and task triage. He discusses the double-edged relationship between the computer and procrastination—on the one hand, it allows the procrastinator to fire off work at the last possible minute; on the other, it’s a dangerous time suck.
Most importantly, he explores what may be procrastination’s greatest gift: the chance to accomplish surprising, wonderful things by not sticking to a rigid schedule.
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