Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The Time Traveling Mistake We Make When We Procrastinate

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The Time Traveling Mistake We Make When We Procrastinate

Behavioral Scientist,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To quit procrastinating, show some love for your future self.

Editorial Rating



  • Overview
  • Hot Topic
  • Engaging


Procrastinators of the world, unite…tomorrow! While you might not feel motivated to quit your tendency to stall, you shouldn’t put off taking action any longer. Research indicates that procrastination can have a devastating impact on your physical and mental well-being. UCLA School of Management professor Hal Hershfield explores what triggers procrastination and unveils an attribute common to procrastinators: an inability to imagine the future in vivid detail. If you’re guilty of procrastination, let Hershfield help you to empathize with your future self and kick the habit once and for all.


A whopping 85% of people feel irked by their tendency to procrastinate.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a chronic procrastinator. According to biographers, he was “much addicted to trifling amusement.” In October 1787, on the eve of the debut performance of Don Giovanni, Mozart engaged in a night of drunken revelry with his friends – even though he had yet to write the overture for the opera. In the wee small hours, friends persuaded him to return home, and in a flurry of intoxicated inspiration, Mozart composed the overture in just three hours. Scribes then painstakingly copied the score and distributed it to the members of the orchestra mere minutes before curtain-up. It is said that the ink on the pages was still wet when the musicians performed it for the first time to a rapturous reception.

Mozart is an anomaly. While many people put off completing jobs to the last possible moment, rarely does eleventh-hour work receive critical acclaim. Consider self-professed “master procrastinator...

About the Author

Hal Hershfield is a UCLA School of Management professor of marketing, psychology and behavioral decision-making.

Comment on this summary