The proof is in: Almost everyone procrastinates. Looking at every prcrasination study he could find, Piers Steel, a human resources professor at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business has concluded that about 95% of us procrastinate at times, with 15% to 20% being chronic offenders.
Behind all the dilly-dallying is lack of confidence about finishing the job, boredom with the task, and a human tendency to go for immediate reward over long-term gain. There is a point where the unconcious mind can actually prevent a person from completing work in an attempt to protect the person from the fear and discomfort associated with completing the task. Steel even came up with an equation:
Utility = E x V/A x D
Utility stands for attraction to the task, which depends on a combination of one’s expectation of finishing it (E), the value in completing it (V), the task’s immediacy (A), and one’s distractability (D).
“Anything that offers a distant reward for immediate effort, especially if we find the effort boring, we will put off,” Steel says