“Wait: The Useful Art of Procrastination” has a slightly deceptive title. The book touches on the concept of procrastination and the question that researchers, philosophers and self-help gurus have all had their say on: Is procrastination a normal and ancient aspect of human culture, or is it the product of a lazy, technology-laden society? Other than this, however, the book primarily focuses on revealing the essential role timing plays in our lives.
From returning a fast tennis serve to apologizing for cheating on a significant other, timing is everything. Some of the top professional tennis players wait until the crucial moment to hit, delaying their swing until the last possible moment, so they have a few extra milliseconds to get a read on the ball. They don’t swing right away; they wait, and time it out. Likewise, delaying an apology and timing it perfectly can make all the difference. In his book, Partony discusses studies which show that a delayed apology is more meaningful than a quick one. He says that waiting gives the offended person time to understand their feelings and the offender time to explain the situation.
The book is an extremely interesting read, perfect for picking up now and again when you want to learn something new. Though informational and fascinating, the book lacks organization. It feels as though Partnoy skips through topics, connecting information through feeble transitions. Overall, the book was fun to read and worthwhile for anyone interested in quirky nonfiction.