Researchers have devised a formula for procrastinators to help them know how much chance they have of overcoming their flaws.
According to a new book, which contains the mathematical equation, procrastination is becoming a problem, courtesy computer games and personal organisers which provide endless opportunities for distraction and rescheduling.
Piers Steel, the author of the book and a business professor at Calgary University in Canada, has pulled together hundreds of studies on the art of delay. He believes that the two contradictory views commonly held about procrastinators - that they are either extra-careful or bone idle - are both wrong. Instead, they have a vice all their own.
The name of his book is 'The Procrastination Equation: Today's Trouble with Tomorrow'.
According to Steel, procrastinators believe they can complete a task and also care about it. Lazy people, by contrast, are not bothered whether they can finish the job - they just do not want to do it. Both can come up with excuses such as a dog eating the homework.