The Process of Procrastination

Tim Urban has become one of the Internet’s most popular writers. With wry stick-figure illustrations and occasionally epic prose on everything from procrastination to artificial intelligence, Urban's blog, Wait But Why, has garnered millions of unique page views, thousands of patrons and famous fans like Elon Musk (

According to Tim Urban, his responsibilities include:

  • Writing posts every Tuesday every Wednesday about his psychological shortcomings
  • Picking a topic for the week’s post before realizing it’s icky after diving in and thinking “if only I were doing that other topic it would be so much easier”; switching to that other topic and realizing it’s incredibly icky too
  • Opening three Chrome windows with 42 research tabs in each, just short of getting to that stressful zone where you can’t see the icon on the tabs anymore
  • Pacing around in his underwear hating himself
  • Drawing stick figures at a 2nd 4th grade skill level
  • Drawing head circles ten times before finally drawing one that looks normal
  • Not being an expert on things he writes about
  • Getting yelled at by people who think he thinks he’s an expert on things he writes about
  • Getting scolded by people for using profanity in writing
  • Passionately underestimating how long each post will take to do

You can read his full dramatic nightmare story of what it was like to do a TED Talk