Procrastination is "to delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay" (pg 252). Statistically, a student will do better on a test if he or she studies a small amount every day instead of waiting until the last minute to cram for the test. Procrastinating until the last minute leads to more anxiety and less time to complete a task properly. Most people are aware of this and still choose to procrastinate by partaking in enjoyable activities that are "less stressful, and less difficult than their assignments" (pg 252).
The formula for factors that affect procrastination is:
[Utility=(Expected incentive value)/(1+Delay Interval)].
This explains that the lower the incentive value for the task is, the more time a person will put off the task. For example, if a parent offers their child 5 dollars for a good grade on a test the child will most likely watch TV or do something else they enjoy and then cram an hour before the test. If the parent offers the child 100 dollars for the same good grade, the incentive value is raised and the child will more likely study longer for the test even though its not pleasant to do so.
Fill out Lay's General Procrastination Scale to find out if YOU are a procrastinator!