The waiting box that is where most of our chores end up in.
Canada's University of Calgary professor Piers Steel has tried to makes sense out of why we procrastinate, in a 30-page study published in the Psychological Bulletin.
Admitting his study took ten years instead of five, Steel has put up a formula that attempts to decipher procrastination; Desire to Complete Task (U) = Expectation of Success (E) x Value of Completion (V) / Immediacy of Task (I) x Personal Sensitivity to Delay (D), or U=ExV/IxD
Overall, more than a quarter of Americans say they procrastinate. Men are worse than women (about 54 out of 100 chronic procrastinators are men) and the young are more like to procrastinate than the old. Three out of four college students consider themselves procrastinators.
According to Steel, it might be better not to delay realizing that procrastination makes you sadder, poorer and less healthy.
Psychologist William Knaus, who has written several self-help books on fighting procrastination since 1977's 'Overcoming Procrastination,' said Steel is 'absolutely right.'
He said he found it harder to wean chronic procrastinators from the habit of delaying than to wean alcoholics from booze.
'It's a huge problem,' he adds. 'I think the majority of mental disabilities people have -- anxiety, panic -- they can be defined as a special case of procrastination.'
The financial angle includes an average loss of $400 per year, caused by delay in filing taxes and last minute Christmas shopping with credit cards being five times higher.
According to Steel, it is easier delaying in today's world than ever before.
What are the causes of procrastination?
TVs in every room, online video, Websurfing, cellphones, videogames, iPods, Blackberries, e-mail, the Internet and that stupid game Minesweeper are temptations that delay our work, according to Steel.
Studying procrastination as a field has a benefit, said the professor. The more he knows about the problem and the causes, the less he procrastinates.