James Surowiecki says procrastination is a basic human impulse, but anxiety about it as a serious problem seems new. "It’s possible to see procrastination as the quintessential modern problem. It’s also a surprisingly costly one. Each year, Americans waste hundreds of millions of dollars because they don’t file their taxes on time. The Harvard economist David Laibson has shown that American workers have forgone huge amounts of money in matching 401(k) contributions because they never got around to signing up for a retirement plan. Seventy per cent of patients suffering from glaucoma risk blindness because they don’t use their eyedrops regularly."