I Was Gonna Post This Earlier, But...

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jan 17, 2007 1:22 PM

Procrastination explained. Is it anxiety that causes it? Perfectionism?

What he did find is that procrastinators are less confident that they can handle a given task. They're also more impulsive and less conscientious overall.

"Whether you believe you can or you believe you can't, you're right," Steel says."Some of these old wives' tales bear out. People who believe they can are less likely to procrastinate."

There's even a formula:

Utility = E x V / Gamma D

Utility is the desirability of getting something done. E is expectancy, or confidence. V is the value of the job, and includes not only its importance but also its unpleasantness. Gamma stands for how prone a person is to delay doing things. And D means delay, or how far away the consequences of doing, or not doing, the task are.

The bigger the top number compared to the bottom, the less likely a task will be put off. So if you expect to do well at a job (E), and it's a pleasant thing to do (V), and you're not prone to being delayed by distractions (Gamma), and it has to be done right away (D), you're not likely to procrastinate.

If you expect to fail at a difficult task and you're easily distracted and it doesn't have to be done for quite awhile, you're going to procrastinate.

Not that I know anything about the subject from first-hand experience. Just putting it out there for you guys. Ha. H/t Marginal Revolution.