Book Review: THE END OF PROCRASTINATION: HOW TO STOP POSTPONING AND LIVE A FULFILLED LIFE

PetrLudwig

Author: Ptr Ludwig

Publisher: St. Martin’s Essentials

Genre: Self-Help

Page Count: 272 pages

ISBN-10: 1250308054 

ISBN-13: 978-1250308054 (Audio CD)

Publication Date: December 31, 2018

To Be Published in 10 Languages 

Published: May 2013 by Jan Melvil Publikování

Order (English Version) From Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, Powell’s, MacMillan Publishers

My Rating: 3 and 1/2 Stars

About the Author (From Publishers’ Page):

Ptr Ludwig

Ptr Ludwig is a science popularizer, entrepreneur, and consultant for Fortune 500 companies. He explains crucial and difficult things simply and easily. Peter helps to improve intrinsic motivation, efficiency, and the happiness of people at work and in their personal lives. In The End of Procrastination and in his talks, he transfers the knowledge of neuroscience and behavioral economics into practice.

 

From Website:

The motto of his life is: “A person who goes with the crowd, usually does not get further than the crowd itself. However, a person who is able to leave the crowd, can get to places where no one has ever been.”

Social Media Sites: TwitterTwitter (GrowJob Institute) Czech, GrowJob Website (Czech), Facebook (GrowJob) Czech, Author’s Website (in Czech), PROCRASTINATION.COM, LinkedIn (Czech), Goodreads

About ADELA SCHICKE (From Publisher’s Page):

Adela“Adela Schicker is the co-founder of Procratination.com, the institute that helps companies and individuals to reach their full potential. Adela translated The End of Procrastination and is helping it to reach the international audience. She speaks at conferences and training companies worldwide, making sure that science can be explained simply and made useful for everyone.”

From website:

“Adela is a personal growth consultant and motivational speaker. She is an avid traveler having lived long term in 11 different countries in 4 continents. A vast number of different learning and working environments has given her a keen eye for people’s talents and has made her a highly effective networker. Armed with these skills together with scientific knowledge, Adela is focusing on helping companies, and individuals create and pursue their visions.” 

“Better self. Better world.”

Social Media Sites: Twitter, Procrastination Website, Linkedin, Goodreads

Description of THE END OF PROCRASTINATION (From Publishers’ Page):

Simple, science-based tools to stop procrastination

Even with overflowing inboxes, thousands of unread notifications, and unmet deadlines, most people still can’t manage to take control of their time and stop procrastinating. The End of Procrastination tackles this ubiquitous issue head on, helping you stop putting off work and reclaim your time. Author Petr Ludwig shows that ending procrastination is more than a wise time management strategy—it’s essential to developing a sense of purpose and leading a happier more fulfilled life. 

The keys to overcoming procrastination are simple. With eight clear, approachable tools—from quick daily worksheets to shift your perspective to to-do lists that actually help you get things done—The End of Procrastination provides everything you need to change the way you manage your time and live your life.

Based on the latest research, The End of Procrastination synthesizes over one hundred scientific studies to create a program that is based on the way our brains actually work. By understanding exactly why procrastination happens and how our brains respond to motivation and self-discipline, the book provides readers with the knowledge to conquer procrastination on an everyday basis.

My Review:  3 and 1/2 Stars

I APPRECIATED reading THE END OF PROCRASTINATION: HOW TO STOP POSTPONING AND LIVING A FULFILLED LIFE. I was anxious when I began reading Ludwig’s book as the truth is I tend to procrastinate, but I am always able to explain why. It’s my ADD; although, I have to say that procrastination appears to be part of ADD. All the professionals I know with ADD, including myself, will tell you the same thing, and we will also tell you that we purposely wait until the last moment to begin a task because we work better under stress to accomplish whatever it is we are working on, with excellent results.

Ludwig says, “People love leaving things to the last minute. They justify their actions by claiming that they work better under pressure. However, the opposite is true, putting things off until the very last moment creates fertile ground for stress, guilt, and ineffectiveness,”

Ludwig may be correct when speaking of the general populous; however, there are exceptions to Ludwig’s belief, such as those with ADD, depression, sickness, etc.. The vast majority know you cannot label all persons the same. That said, I found myself hyper-focusing and drawn into Ludwig’s book. I began to believe that regardless of being ADD, there are several areas in THE END OF PROCRASTINATION, as well as resources on the website PROCRASTINATION.COM that I can, and will, use to manage my life. I am also in disagreement with Ludwig’s following statement.

“Every morning, we wake up in a world where there is less violence and military conflict than in any other time in history,” – Ptr Ludwig

Perhaps in Sweden life is less violent and maybe they are not involved in the military conflicts the United States are. Let’s take a minute and look at the United States war history. America has been at war 93% of the time – 222 out of 239 years since 1776. Check the Global Research for the facts. I’m not going to provide statistics on violence because if you are American or reside in America, you know the facts. There are significant geographical variants in violent crime in the United States; some areas have decreased while other regions have increased. Our current political climate is making things worse as the pot is being stirred-up, once again.

Ptr Ludwig’s book has an Introduction, is divided into four independent sections, and a conclusion. Initially, I was engrossed in reading THE END OF PROCRASTINATION: HOW TO STOP POSTPONING AND LIVING A FULFILLED LIFE. Unfortunately, when I came to The Comfort Zone of the Masses: Birthplace of Evil in the book, where Ludwig begins to write about meeting with Professor Phillip Zimbardo who many may not be familiar with, Ludwig’s book became convoluted. If you are currently, or have ever served in law enforcement, force protection or anti-terrorism, in or out of the military, you will likely be familiar with Zimbardo and his Stanford Prison Experiment. I was one of many required to watch Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment recorded in the ’70s. I did not learn anything I did not know from watching the tape, nor did I need a psychology degree; although I did minor in psychology, to know that without leadership, you are going to fail, as are your people.

Phillip Zimbardo has a YouTube video in which he says, “I MADE A BIG MISTAKE!” There is another Zimbardo YouTube video interview in which Zimbardo talks about the Stanford Prison Experiment and his book THE LUCIFER EFFECT, which I have, and I have read more than once. Moreover, there is one more YouTube video worth watching is A Study of Evil in which Zimbardo talks about becoming involved in speaking on behalf of a soldier  (a National Guardsman) from Abu Ghraib at his court-martial to defend his actions of abuse. Zimbardo would later write a book called THE LUCIFER EFFECT in which he speaks on behalf of the National Guardsman on trial for abusing the enemy combatants at Abu Ghraib. This National Guardsman was one of the hundreds of men and women Guardsmen assigned to oversee the operations of Abu Ghraib’s enemy combatant camp.

I shook my head in amazement at this point because what Ptr Ludwig had been writing about, and I had been reading changed very suddenly, and the change did not align with what he had been writing about up until this point. Here is where Ludwig lost me as I saw no apparent connection. It felt to me that Ludwig was more interested in having the name Zimbardo connected to his book than the content in his book from this point of separation.

I remembered, once again, how embarrassed I had been and remain so today by the horrendous actions of the National Guardsmen assigned to run the Abu Ghraib enemy combatant camp. I also could not understand, at the time, why we had appointed a National Guard Unit to oversee this enemy combatant camp without active duty military police, and I was mad as hell that the leadership made excuses to save themselves. Some may wonder why I took the events at Abu Ghraib so personally and why I care so much? There was no doubt this was a slap in the face to the United States military. I was an American servicewoman who was on active duty and responsible for another enemy combatant camp. So, I saw the repulsive actions of the enlisted, as well as the lack of leadership in the camp as offensive and inexcusable.

We had a National Guard Unit but intermixed with active duty personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force. We also had leadership in our enemy combatant camps around the clock. I specifically made it a point to show up at unannounced times throughout the day, night and early mornings and walk the blocks to ensure what happened in Abu Ghraib did not occur in my camps. Had leadership been present in Abu Ghraib, this alone would have prevented the hideous events that took place there. By leadership, I am speaking to officers, whether Navy, Army or Air Force, as well as senior enlisted personnel. It was their absence and dereliction to duty that resulted in the shame and humiliation to the United States military.

Moreover, this is just one example of many as to why the United States is not looked to as we once were, for guidance. We are disrespected around the globe today. Less there be any doubt, I feel compelled to be clear those held in Abu Ghraib or any other enemy combatant camp were never prisoners, they were enemy combatants or detainees. The terms have significantly differing meanings

Ludwig stated, “Zimbardo taught us how to become an everyday hero.” I don’t see how. Zimbardo also stated, “People do things because other people are doing them. They don’t want to be exposed to the social pressure and discomfort that would arise if they left the herd.”

There is some truth in this, but he is saying this because he defended the actions of those individuals who brought shame down upon the United States. In his book, The Lucifer Effect, he supports those involved in the atrocities committed in Abu Ghraib.  This is not what happened in Abu Ghraib. Leadership failed.

In Where Do Negative Emotions Come From? Ludwig makes the following statement, “Negative people often inadvertently spread their emotions to the people around them.” I concur with this, in some instances, but to make a blanket statement, it’s wrong. We have all witnessed negative people who have inadvertently spread their emotions to those around others, but there are others that would not be affected negatively by negative people. Again, not everyone is inadvertently affected by negative people and their emotions. The majority of us know right from wrong. Ludwig goes on to say, “Just take a look at an average pub on a Friday evening. You will see people complaining in unison about how everyone is a thief, nothing works, and everything is terrible.” I don’t know how many pubs Ludwig has frequented to come to this conclusion, but I can tell you that this is not fact-based. Moreover, if one finds themselves in a pessimistic pub, leave the pub and find another pub where people are happy and celebrating life.

Ludwig’s next mistake was to use veteran’s in his book. Ludwig says, “Depression and even suicide rates were high among these people. Therapists from the Hawaii Psychological Association were nonetheless able to find a way to help them.” Hear me when I say, that 22 active duty and veterans continue to take their lives every day. Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) continue to be a Joint Forces Operation, meaning the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force are working together, not as separate services. I had to read the following statement many times to make sure I was not missing something. 

“So, what was the next step? The researchers (Therapists from Hawaii) steered the veterans towards realizing that although what they had experienced was horrible, it would enable them to bear witness to war, which might help lower the chances of wars developing in the future. The researchers helped them view the worst things they had experienced from a more positive perspective.” – Ludwig

It’s not our veterans that get us into wars. Thus the aforementioned highlighted text is a ridiculous statement. 

Also disturbing is comparing veterans to IBM employees, smokers trying to quit, a young man that’s attention is unrequited on a bus or a student that gets terrible grades. It’s unimaginable to me that anyone that has done their research would suggest veterans be lumped into the aforementioned as failures, shameful or losers. Flipping an internal switch will not work on veterans.

As veterans we are told, “You have a new normal,” and this is what veterans adjust his or her life to going forward. Negative stimuli will forever elicit negative emotional responses in veterans. If Ptr Ludwig arrived at his analysis of veteran’s from Zimbardo, he spoke to the wrong source about veterans. I carefully went through the list of references that were used in Ludwig’s book and was disheartened by how dated the material referenced was that was used to support the findings in Ludwig’s book THE END OF PROCRASTINATION: HOW TO STOP POSTPONING AND LIVING A FULFILLED LIFE. I was also surprised to find that the only sources used when it came to the suffering of veterans with PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc., came from Zimbardo and the Therapists from the Hawaii Psychological Association. There are so many more current and credible studies available when it comes to veterans, and one of the most surprising finds is that the Veteran’s Administration, for one, was NOT a source.

I would have given Ludwig’s book a 5 Star rating,  but as soon as Ludwig began writing about Zimbardo, it felt as if I put one book down and picked another book up. There are hundreds of thousands of veterans in the United States; however, this book is going to leave a bad taste in their mouth and perhaps do further damage. Ptr Ludwig would be wise to remove veterans entirely from this book or postpone publication until he has more thorough and recent studies incorporated into the book.

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.” – Richard Feynman 

In an Author’s note, Ptr Ludwig wrote, “I, for example, concede the possibility that this entire book might be nonobjective. If this is so, and someone provides me with better information, I would be glad to re-evaluate my conclusions.

I would ask Mr. Ludwig that he not tie veterans to Zimbardo or use us as examples as you have. We don’t fit your categories and should not be put in boxes. On the other hand, I believe Ptr Ludwig’s book could be a wonderful source for veterans, but not as it currently reads.

As I previously said, Ludwig’s book began with a 5 Star rating until I started reading The Comfort Zone and then it became a 3 and 1/2 Star rating.  I recommend this book to anyone who is not a veteran and to those who can overlook that which is related to Philip Zimbardo, the military and veterans. This book has the potential to be a helpful book for all of us when it comes to dealing with our procrastination. 

Thank you NetGalley & St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

 

 

 

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