A new semester is starting for all of us. What’s our common enemy? Procrastination.

But what is the demon I speak of? Well, industrial psychologist Piers Steel of the University of Calgary thinks he has procrastination all figured out:

Steel developed the equation U = E x V / I x D, where U is the desire to complete the task; E, the expectation of success; V, the value of completion; I, the immediacy of task; and D, the personal sensitivity to delay, as a way of mathematically mapping a given individual’s procrastination response.

Yeah, alright… But how do we destroy it? Well, I’ve got two tips for you all:

1. Learn a new equation: (10 2)*5. This method requires a timer, a to-do list, and an hour. The equation will help you remember the steps:

* 10 – Work for ten minutes with single-minded focus on moving toward completion on a single task. Ten minutes, and that’s all you’re allowed to do is work, work, work. No cheating, because (DING!) you actually get a break when you’re done…
* 2 – After ten minutes of sweaty, dedicated work you get a 2-minute break to do whatever you want—drink coffee, read 5ives, call your bookie, whatever. When the two minutes are up, it’s back to work on the next task on your list. This is important.
* *5 – You’re going to iterate this four more times for a total of one hour’s working/breaking

And it’s a requirement to take the 2-minute break! You can’t skip it! Also, the focus is not actually to complete anything in 10 minutes –just to inch your way toward the finish line.

2. Download the Chindogu Clock (available for all platforms). If you’ve got a 3-page paper that will take you 3 hours to write, but you always seem to procrastinate just enough to always be late in turning it in, this is your solution:

It’s guaranteed to be up to 15 minutes fast. However, it also speeds up and slows down in an unpredictable manner so you can’t be sure how fast it really is. Furthermore, the clock is guaranteed to not be slow.

Many of us have used this method before, but with this clock, you’ll never know how “fast” it really is, so you can’t cheat. Oh, I love it.

And… This was my 2-minute break. Back to reading Kundera.