The Art and Science of Delay

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Frank Partnoy explains how delaying our reactions to everyday choices—large and small—can improve the quality of our lives. In Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, he finds that effective decision-making runs counter to our fast-paced world and argues that we benefit from  slowing down our responses decisions.


Frank Partnoy

Comments [14]


What a fabulous topic!! The man I have known
for 33 yrs, extremely successful in his career &
family has ALWAYS used this guideline; listen
carefully to the request/problem then say, "I'll
get back to you", & then let his brain marinate
or sleep on it, for a day or a week until the an-
swer came & it always did. Best advice for
a successful life ever!!!

Jun. 26 2012 01:01 PM
CK from YKT

Senior executives can take their in box and shove it off to out box because their many minions are taking care of these things. Wish I had some minions so I could likewise procrastinate.

Jun. 26 2012 12:34 PM
John A

Creating a generation of blinkminded individuals was useful for many things. Things like promoting shallow-minded presidential candidates and
removing critical thinking about the product from the purchaser.

Jun. 26 2012 12:30 PM
LouiseM from North Brunswick

Remember TARP, in the final months of the Bush administration? What a tremendously rush-rush job that was? We had to do something *right now*, the bankers told us, or the world would blow up!

They knew the truth that is being discussed here: people put under extreme pressure, given very little time to make a decision, will usually make one counter to their interests.

Jun. 26 2012 12:29 PM
Larry from Brooklyn

um, so psychologists only study people by listening to people talk while on couches? Please. Most of the heart rate research the guest is discussing is actually done by psychologists. He needs to be a little less flippant about what psychological research actually is.

Jun. 26 2012 12:26 PM

It can be tempting to do things right away so they're not forgotten. Please discuss the process of keeping track of things that have been put off.

Jun. 26 2012 12:26 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The other thing that makes apologies sound hollow is saying that things "happened" or using the passive voice (remember "Mistakes were made"?) instead of taking responsibility by saying "I did [whatever it was]."

Jun. 26 2012 12:25 PM

Tracy Morgan only really has to please the network owners and his fans. Others will whine and moan, but will forget when the next reality show airs.

Politicians spend their entire lives trying to say (emphasis on "say" as opposed to "do") whatever will please as many as possible. Lying is their principle tool. Caught in a lie — as Weiner was — puts them in a perfect Catch 22 because precisely the tool on which they most rely has just been rendered ineffective.

Jun. 26 2012 12:18 PM
Jill from Upper West

I can't believe you have waited 'til this, my 48th birthday, to bless procrastination, BUT THANK YOU! No better gift so far today...

Jun. 26 2012 12:18 PM

Is this the same Frank Partnoy who has written extensively on financial regulation?

Jun. 26 2012 12:13 PM
John A

Was Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" damaging to society? I tend to think so.

Jun. 26 2012 12:13 PM
Simon from Manhattan

While looking for a parking space in Williamsburg on a busy Saturday...we just stopped, double parked and waited. Someone pulled out and we pulled in. If we had been driving around looking for a spot we never would have found one.

Jun. 26 2012 12:13 PM
Nick from UWS

There is a big difference between procrastination and reflection. But in general I come down on the side of reflection.

Jun. 26 2012 12:11 PM
jmurphy from long island

I was wondering if your guest has suggestions for the best career paths for procrastinators and the chronically late.

Jun. 26 2012 12:11 PM

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