The Art and Science of Delay
A passionate polemic in favor of pausing to think, not blink
What do these scenarios have in common: a professional tennis player returning a serve, a woman evaluating a first date across the table, a naval officer assessing a threat to his ship, and a comedian about to reveal a punch line?
In this counterintuitive and insightful work, author Frank Partnoy weaves together findings from hundreds of scientific studies and interviews with wide-ranging experts to craft a picture of effective decision making that runs contrary to our brutally fast-paced world. Thought technology is exerting new pressures to speed up our lives, it turns out that the choices we make––unconsciously and consciously, in time frames varying from milliseconds to years—benefit profoundly from delay. Taking control of time and slowing down our responses yields better results in almost every arena of life—even when time seems to be of the essence.
The procrastinator in all of us will delight in Partnoy’s accounts of celebrity “delay specialists,” from Warren Buffett to Chris Evert to Steve Kroft, underscoring the myriad ways in which delaying our reactions to everyday choices—large and small—can improve the quality of our lives.
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