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Issue #418 - Thurs., Jan. 22, 2009 »

Getting to Some Things I've been Meaning to Get To

We're sorry this is late; we really meant to post it sooner

Steel has also come up with the E=MC2 of procrastination, a formula he's dubbed Temporal Motivational Theory, which takes into account factors such as the expectancy a person has of succeeding with a given task (E), the value of completing the task (V), the desirability of the task (Utility), its immediacy or availability (A~) and the person's sensitivity to delay (D).

It looks like this and uses the Greek letter A: Utility = E * V/AD

(emphasis mine, and I replaced the Greek letter with "A" because the original character wouldn't display properly)

I love it when folks use equations to describe situations for which there are no objectively discernible real numbers. E.g., maybe I can assign a real number to represent the value of completing a task (such as the amount I'll be paid for the project), but how the hell do I measure my expectancy of succeeding with a given task? Is there some sort of -ometer I stick in my ear to get that number?

(Savvy Mojonauts will note the date on this press release and realize that this link has actually sat ignored on my desktop for TWO YEARS. Ugh. I've become the joke.)