Here is the book’s idea (and “equation”) in a nutshell: Motivation = (value x expectation) divided by (impulsiveness x delay). In other words, we procrastinate when:
- We don’t think we’ll get much from doing the task (value)
- We think we’re likely to fail (low expectations)
- We’re likely to be distracted by other things (impulsive)
- It’s a long way away (delay)
It might not be possible to do much about the timeline (delay), but there’s a chapter in the book for each of the other three factors. These chapters offer practical advice, and are very useful.
For me, the practical advice came too late in the book, and I found the first few chapters tedious to read. However, we did discuss this book in our monthly business book club, and other readers found those chapters interesting.
Overall, I liked the book, especially towards the end, when it included some practical, actionable ideas.