Epic Tales of Procrastination from the BBC

Procrastination fans (or haters), check out these stories from BBC readers including:

I am a teacher, I once left a set of books unmarked for so long I was embarrassed to give them back to the students yet again unmarked. So I hid them, then went into the classroom and told them they had been stolen. Sonia, London

There is also a Radio 4 documentary which you can download in the next 5 days. Or of course, you could procrastinate…


Truthiness and pictures

“Truthiness is a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person claims to know intuitively “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.” Wikipedia

For those of you who may not know, “truthiness” was coined by American satirist Stephen Colbert in 2005. It is the appeal to emotion rather than reason. What you feel is right rather than what the facts of evidence tell us. Now a student from the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand has been looking into how pictures affect it with a rather cunning experiment.

The conclusion: pictures rock. And if you don’t believe me, here is a picture of Stephen Colbert to convince you.

Measure Your Procrastination Level

„Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow“. Mark Twain

One of the challenges I come across with scary regularity with my company presentationgym is procrastination.  (presentationgym is a bit like a normal gym, but it is your communication skills rather than your muscles which get the workout). The problem is this. Just like a normal gym, you need to do the work. You need to go. You need to put the effort in. People REALLY want to find the time to practice and prepare, they understand the benefits of doing so, and even the risks of not doing so, however, they delay things up until the last-minute and use adrenaline to get the job done. Sound familiar?  It should do.  95% of people have a problem with it, with over 15% admitting it to be a very serious problem. That means 1 in 5 people.  Now think. Do you know anyone like that? Is it perhaps you?

I find procrastination fascinating. Primarily because it used to be a problem for me (I was the sort of student who would work through the night in order to meet the morning’s deadline). For that reason, I try to keep on top of the science behind procrastination. Now….

Dr. Piers Steel is one of the world’s foremost researchers and speakers on the science of motivation and procrastination. He is also the author of the best book I have read to date on the subject – The Procrastination Equation. But before you all rush out and buy his book, why not first find out how bad a procrastinator you actually are by taking his survey here……


Warning – This is not a „for entertainment“ survey, but actual science you are contributing to. Therefore there are over 100 multiple questions you need to answer and it took me about 15 mins to complete. As a reward for doing this you will receive a personalised procrastination profile, along with 3 scientifically proven tips for you to put into practice. Cool stuff.

Alternatively of course, you could put it off until tomorrow……….

Brain Rules for Baby

I’m a big fan of Dr. John Medina, developmental molecular biologist and author of the New York Times bestseller Brain Rules.

With his Brain Rule #10 Medina gave us excellent insights into creating presentations which speak directly to our brains (hint: vision trumps all other senses), but he is also a great speaker and puts into practice what he preaches.

With that in mind, check out his recent video Brain Rules for Baby where he exposes many of the myths behind raising children.  Not only can you get some great advice on parenting and how your baby’s brain works, but also on presenting.  Watch how he uses humor, bad examples, passion, enthusiasm and even a quiz to make sure his message sticks in your brain after-wards.

Many people can present, however few people can really get their ideas remembered long after-wards.  It has been a while since I first watched these yet the content is still with me.