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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Formula for Success, Or Maybe Just Avoid Failure

Why do 95% students always, or often, wait until the night before the assignment is due to actually start doing it? Or, why do 15% of adults put off doing something they know they'll need to do no matter how long they delay? Some Canadian researchers think they've found the holy grail to unlocking the secrets of procrastination in a formula.

First, don't panic! Here's the seemingly innocuous formula:

U = E x V / I x D

What does it mean?

U is the desire to complete the task, which we'll assume is often low.

Working from the top of the equation, E is the expectation of success, and V, the value of completion. Some readers will recognize this as the expected value formula.

The next two components are: I, the immediacy of task, and D, the personal sensitivity to delay.

So the secret of success is to jack up either E or V by making the reward for completion really high or by being overconfident in your own abilities to succeed.

Want to know how bad your procrastination is? You can take a procrastination test by going to the researchers' official site and clicking on Online Studies->Procrastination.

[via Lifehacker]


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