What is Procrastination Equation?

Dr. Piers Steel planned the Procrastination Equation. He built the equation based on 4 important variables and 5 Important Criteria that affect your motivation and procrastination.

Procrastination Equation is:


The four important variables:

Expectancy: It refers to how much you expect to succeed in a particular task? What is expected out of a task? What is your expectation? Etc. If expectations are high, we procrastinate less when compared to tasks and activities having a low expectancy.

Value: Value refers to meaning, benefits, purpose, feeling content, gaining moral-boost, improving self-confidence. Tasks that hold high value and adds meaning to you will bring motivation. It stops you from procrastinating.

Impulsiveness: Easily getting distracted, unable to stay focused, looking for instant-gratification are all a few examples of serious impulsiveness leading to procrastination.

Delay: If there are lengthy delays with a task, you will eventually start procrastinating.

The 5 important criteria:

  1. If you want to overcome procrastination, you need to increase the “Expectancy” and “Value” of a task. If your expectation about a task is high and optimistic, and if you find it worthwhile, you are more likely to finish the task. You will stay motivated. The chance of procrastinating will be minimal.
  2. If your task has a good “value” to it, it is enough to stay motivated. There will be no procrastination when what you do gives you meaning and value.
  3. Decrease the “Impulsiveness” and “Delay” habits to overcome procrastination.
  4. Tasks with “Less Value” and “High Expectancy” increase procrastination chances.
  5. More Impulsiveness and More Delay decrease your motivation leading to procrastination.

Procrastination Equation gives a clear picture of identifying what causes procrastination. It is highly useful for people who can’t figure out why they are procrastinating.