Procrastination Is a Virtue

Perhaps being a procrastination addict isn’t such a bad thing. There may be surprising benefits to putting things off, says Columbia Business School professor Eric Abrahamson.

The pervasive sense that procrastination is bad, is what Columbia Business School professor Eric Abrahamson calls "a cultural value," and an outgrowth of the worker efficiency movement spawned by Frederick Winslow Taylor. In 1911, Taylor published The Principles of Scientific Management. "Taylor thinks of a worker as an idiot," scoffs Abrahamson. "He thinks of a manger as smart and able to get the employee to save time." Abrahamson also told me about a top flight computer programmer he knows, who spends most of her time playing solitaire. "You could say she’s procrastinating," says Abrahamson. "On the other hand, you could say she’s recharging."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
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  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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