Friday, January 26, 2007

Procrastination is becoming a killer problem.

Procrastination in society is getting worse and scientists are finally figuring out how and why.

After 10 years of research on a project that was supposed to take only 5 years (is there pun intended?), a Canadian industrial psychologist found in a study that not only is procrastination on the rise in the U.S., it also makes people poorer, fatter and unhappier.

Something has to be done about it, and sooner than later, University of Calgary professor Piers Steel concluded in his study, published in this month's Psychological Bulletin.

In 1978, only about 5% of the American public thought of themselves as chronic procrastinators. Now the figure is 26%, said Professor Steel.

And why not? There are so many fun ways to kill time—TVs in every room, online video, web surfing, cellphones, video games, iPods and Blackberries.

At work, e-mail messaging, the Internet and games are just a click away.

Professor Steel said the US gross national product would probably rise by US$50 million if the icon and sound that notify people of new e-mail messages suddenly disappear.

There is good reason to worry about the problem of procrastination.

"People who procrastinate tend to be less healthy, less wealthy and less happy," he said. Of procrastination, he added, "You can reduce it, but I don't think you can eliminate it."

There is personal financial fallout from procrastination too.

Delay in filing taxes on average costs a person US$400 a year, he found.

Men are worse than women (about 54 out of 100 chronic procrastinators are men) and the young are more likely to procrastinate than the old, he said. – Associated Press

No comments: