Procrastiflation: Procrastination + Inflation

The longer a task goes un-completed, the harder it is to do it.

If you say you’re going to call John Doe on Monday, and you don’t, and you continue to procrastinate on Tuesday, and then Wednesday, it becomes harder and harder with each passing day to ever complete the task.

Another common example is going to the gym. If you want to go to the gym every day, and you miss a day, and then miss another day, and so forth, it becomes harder and harder to get back into the routine.

Problem: A phrase does not exist to describe this phenomenon. Putting names to widely-understood effects makes communication easier. The Streisand Effect, for example, is a good shorthand for the phenomenon of when trying to censor or remove information backfires and causes the information to be widely publicized.

Solution: I email a few friends for help on coming up with a name. Stan James writes:

The key concepts seem to be procrastination (the cause) and inflation (of difficulty). As a portmanteau, I propose “procrastiflation.” As in, “I haven’t written a blog post in weeks, and now the procrastiflationary costs are becoming insurmountable.”

Bottom Line: Procrastiflation is when procrastination of a task over time compounds the difficulty of ever completing it.

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