Stop Swiping Through Life

August 23, 2023

In their captivating book Swipe: The Science Behind Why We Don’t Finish What We Start, authors Tracy Mallet and Tim Vandehey delve into the intriguing realm of human behavior and explore the reasons behind our tendency to leave tasks unfinished. With a blend of scientific research, relatable examples, and practical strategies, Swipe offers valuable insights into our procrastination and provides a roadmap for overcoming this common challenge.

Mallet and Vandehey begin by shedding light on the prevalence and consequences of unfinished tasks in our lives. The book’s title comes from the now-ubiquitous motion we use on digital devices to “swipe” away whatever we’re looking at to focus on the next new thing, and then the next. The authors skillfully compare this motion to the way many of us approach tasks in our day-to-day lives. They present a compelling case for the significance of this issue, illustrating how unfinished projects can drain our energy, hinder our progress, and create a perpetual cycle of unfulfilled goals. Through engaging anecdotes and relatable scenarios, the authors succeed in capturing the reader’s attention and resonating with their own experiences.

Where Science Meets Action

One of the notable strengths of Swipe is its integration of scientific research into the exploration of human behavior. The authors draw upon a wealth of studies from psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics to shed light on the underlying mechanisms that contribute to our tendency to procrastinate. By presenting this research in an accessible and engaging manner, Mallet and Vandehey enhance the book’s credibility and provide readers with a solid foundation of knowledge.

But what really sets Swipe apart from other self-help books on procrastination is its practical approach. The authors not only explain the psychological and neurological reasons behind our behavior but also offer actionable strategies to overcome procrastination and foster a habit of completion. They provide step-by-step techniques, time management tools, and effective methods to boost motivation and overcome the various barriers that impede our progress.

Mallet and Vandehey also skillfully acknowledge the role of technology and digital distractions in exacerbating our procrastination tendencies. They delve into the addictive nature of social media, the allure of instant gratification, and the impact of constant notifications on our ability to focus and complete tasks. By addressing these modern challenges, the authors provide relevant and timely insights for readers in today’s digitally saturated world.

Throughout the book, the authors strike a balance between scientific research and relatable storytelling. They supplement their explanations with real-life examples, anecdotes, and case studies, making the content engaging and applicable. Readers will find themselves nodding along as they recognize their own patterns of procrastination and be inspired by the success stories shared within the pages of Swipe.

The Bottom Line

Swipe: The Science Behind Why We Don’t Finish What We Start should be considered an essential tool for helping banish burnout and conquer procrastination. Tracy Mallet and Tim Vandehey present a comprehensive examination of this universal struggle, blending scientific research, relatable examples, and actionable strategies. Whether you’re a chronic procrastinator or simply seeking to enhance your productivity, the book offers valuable insights and tools to help you break free from the cycle of unfinished tasks and cultivate a habit of completion.

If you liked Swipe, you’ll also like:

1) Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
2) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
3) The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business