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I decided to take this opportunity to apply your advice to my putting off registering and making my first post on this site.

Step 1 - Notice procrastination. I have noticed myself procrastinating when reading past articles that really intrigued me and to which I wanted to contribute. Tonight, after reading this article, I bookmarked it, told myself that I would need to read the linked material further, and reply later to either this article or perhaps a future one.

Step 2 - Evaluate procrastination. Evaluating what has caused me to procrastinate in the past and want to put off replying again tonight:

Value: Moderate to High. I do believe that taking part in the discussion and becoming a more active part of this community would be enjoyable for me. I would say this is of a moderately high value for me.

Expectancy: Low. My primary worry is posting a reply that is not worthy of the intelligent discussion being had by others on this site. I would often think that I didn't know enough about Bayes or logic yet to bring value to this thread. What if my post is either downvoted or ignored? Then the value to me would seem diminished.

Impulsiveness: Moderate. I typically have multiple tabs open in my browser at any one time and am tempted even now to check another website.

Delay: Low. I know I get the satisfaction of seeing my post fairly quickly after I finish typing and perhaps receiving feedback.

Summary: My desire to procrastinate appears to be driven by low expectancy and moderate impulsiveness.

  1. Addressing procrastination.

Low expectancy:

  • Began typing. Once I begin something, even if it is not with 100% motivation right away, it gets me going in the right direction and realizing that the task may not be as difficult as I may have imagined. Perhaps this is part of the success spirals, with each paragraph that looks OK to me being a spiral until I finished the entire reply.
  • Lowered the demand for perfect expectancy that I put on myself. I have to realize that this isn't going to be the best post on lesswrong or on this thread. I will settle for calling it successful or at least not disastrous if it is not repeatedly downvoted.


  • Closed all other tabs in my browser expect for this one.
  • Vowed to finish this post before going to any other websites.

And now I have registered and finished my first post. For me, I can say that most of the things I put off is due to low expectancy, mainly fueled by low confidence doing anything I haven't done or haven't done successfully in the past. This applies more to major life goals and less to doing the dishes or laundry. I am tempted now to ramble on further, which will just make me doubt about the usefulness of this post and consider killing it altogether, so I will go ahead and end it here and post.