Last updated on maart 25, 2020Time to read 3 minutes
Procrastination. For a non-native English speaker hard to pronounce, yet very easy to do. Everyone does it. I did at work. A lot. It got worse. Then I picked up Petr Ludwig’s The End of Procrastination. A rather new book (2018) on an old matter. Of course, I hoped to find some ‘tools’ to escape from procrastinating so much.
Title: The end of procrastination
Author: Petr Ludwig, co-author: Adela Schicker
Publisher: Kosmos Uitgevers (I read the Dutch translation)
Year of Release: 2018
About Petr Ludwig
Author Petr Ludwig (born in 1986 in the Czech Republic) is very much from the Facebook- and Insta-generation. In other words, familiar with the phenomenon information overload because it’s so bloody accessible. Ludwig speaks at conferences about efficiency, helps companies and people create core values and is an evangelist for critical thinking. The expert by experience developed an online course (available at Procrastination.com) which ultimately led to this book. This book is his legacy to the world on themes he holds dear: personal efficiency and having fun at work.
The general idea of The End of Procrastination
The End of Procrastination and its very Tel-Sell-like subtitle ‘How to stop postponing and live a fulfilled life’ doesn’t leave much room for interpretation. The book is about… procrastination! Or. How to get rid of it more like. A quick glance in the table of contents tells me the book is going to educate me on things such as:
- getting results
And, moreover, it speaks of no less than nine tools to help get rid of procrastination. Amongst the tools are a personal vision, the to-do today list, your inner switch and a flowsheet.
Ludwig starts his book with setting the era we live in now and why procrastination is a high and mighty habit. Decision paralysis is all around us. With so much choices before us, we tend to not choose anything at all. To our own frustration. But hey, FOMO, you know. Not being able to choose, is a core trait of procrastination.
Mark your successes (and look at them regularly)
Motivation, together with discipline, equals success. Every self-help-book will tell you. So does Ludwig. With the standard ‘carrot-and-stick’- explanation he marks the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. But he then does something fun: he encourages you to make list of your personal (and/or work) successes. I tried that and found it highly motivating. Sometimes I glance at the list as a pick-me-up. Works great. It’s a build-up to his first tool: the personal vision, which is something short, catchy and in a matrix!
Discipline is about exploring your (tiniest) habits. This chapter boasts another four tools to get them under control and work towards getting a grip on your tasks by creating a to-do-today and a to-do-all list. If you’re already into Getting Things Done, like me, this chapter doesn’t bring much. However, it got me into reading more about habits.
Control your inner hamster
Ludwig’s third ingredient is about getting results. Well, actually, it’s about hamsters. And how to tame them. The hamster once was part of a well-known experiment. It tried to get out of his -closed – cage over and over again and then it just gave up. Even when the cage was opened, the hamster just sat there. It didn’t know or want to get out of its current situation. Ludwig tries to inspire you to reset yourself. I got what he was saying, but I’m not sure his tools will help every reader. Although I liked his flowsheet, in which you write down three positive things that occured on a day. And then keep doing it. Train yourself in positivity, is the message here.
The fourth ingredient is objectivity. Stay critical, educate yourself but also: hold meetings with yourself. Try to look at yourself from an objective angle. No excuses. This is where Ludwig’s evangelism for critical thinking blossoms. To me, this didn’t add anything to the matter of not procrastinating. Although I liked reading about the Dunninger Kruger effect: the power of not knowing what you don’t know.
This book is a good start when you’re trying to tackle procrastination. I found some of his tools helpful in setting a view ahead and start on tackling habits that encourage procrastination. Some I thought: nope, not going to try it. Or: doing it already. Like heroism: every once in a while I do get out of my comfort zone.
The book is written with an enthusiastic tone-of-voice, which makes it easy to read. Lots of visuals help with readability too. However, somehow it didn’t all stick. And Ludwig likes paper. I don’t really. I picked this book up, hoping for new insights. I didn’t get many, because I was already using Getting Things Done as a productivity method.
The most powerful piece in the book was the part about motivation. Developing my own personal vision in the style he presented was both fun and insightful. And the habit thing stuck. With some more reading under my belt, I did discover that snoozing my alarm and eating breakfast on the couch made me a tad slow in the morning.
So, if you’re not already ‘loaded’ in terms of productivity-literature, I would indeed recommend this book. You’ll feel inspired and most likely will want to know more about productivity.