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Do good things come to those who wait?

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What difference does a second make? According to Frank Partnoy, it could change everything.

In his new book “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” Partnoy develops and supports his theory about decision-making: wait as long as possible. Whether it’s a comedian timing a punchline or a naval officer assessing when to attack a potential enemy plane, Partnoy highlights the benefits of the pause. In our increasingly fast-paced world, “Wait” advises a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mentality.

Partnoy’s findings are backed up by numerous expert interviews and scientific studies across various fields. Even as technology encourages us to value split-second decision-making and speedy responses to everything from e-mails to job offers, he says, every choice in our lives could still use some mulling over.

While the professional tennis player or high frequency stock trader may have only seconds to ponder, Partnoy still encourages us to wait until the last possible millisecond to make your move. This provocative book will change how you think about every decision you make. Time and deliberation may win out over hasty efficiency after all, to every procrastinator’s delight.

How long do you ponder the important decisions in your life? Have you made hasty choices that you regret not spending more time on? Or do you go with snap judgment and take your chances?


Frank Partnoy, author of “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay” (Public Affairs Books); director of the Center for Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego. His previous books include “F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street” and “Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets.”