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Procrastination Expert Receives Prize...15 Years Later

After a 15-year lull, John Perry, a philosophy professor and essayist is recognized for his views on procrastination. 'The Education Insider' takes a look at this honored postponement expert.

By Erin Tigro

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Prized Procrastinator

Many times, procrastination is seen as a negative trait. Without proper direction, procrastinators may have trouble in school, their personal lives and their professional careers. However, more than a decade ago, John Perry, college instructor, author and philosopher, offered a structured view on the topic. Fast-forward to 2011 and he's been awarded a prize for his writings.

Organization Honoring the Professor

Annals of Improbable Research is a publication that looks to make science and technology fun and humorous. Every year, the magazine confers prizes to individuals who embody this spirit. This year, Perry won the Ig Nobel Prize award for an article he crafted on procrastinating in 1996. The timing seems appropriate considering the topic of his writings. Awards were handed out by Nobel laureates, and this year, the ceremony was held at Harvard University.

Postponement Practices Popularized

In his award-winning essay, Perry offers advice based on his own issues with procrastination. He suggests deceiving oneself as an approach to overcoming personal issues with task completion. He offers the tip of ranking a seemingly insurmountable task at the top of the list, since the natural tendency for a procrastinator would be to avoid the most pressing job. Those who usually shirk larger projects would be more apt to work down the list to complete a more manageable but still crucial or meaningful job. Fittingly, the essay itself was a result of Perry's attempt to avoid a larger assignment.

Where Is Perry Now?

John Perry currently teaches philosophy at the University of California at Riverside and is a former professor at Stanford University. Over the years, he's developed a website entitled Structured Procrastination, which is the term he's coined for his own philosophy. He showcases several essays on the site, including one that links perfectionism and procrastination. Perry claims to use the virtual space as an outlet for his respite.

Read on to find out how to channel another unique strategy that can help you learn more effectively.

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