Take the following contrived sentence:

Our staff's productivity has doubled since we upgraded their computers.

And now this one:

Our staff's [rate of procrastination] has doubled since we gave them new smart phones.

Is there a single word to fit within the italicised section of the second sentence?

As you can see I initially was looking for some sort of form of the word "procrastinate", but "procrastination" doesn't sound like it fits properly on its own (does it?), and I don't think the word has a valid form that is equivalent to "productivity", by which I mean that: your productivity is a measure how much you produce, while [what?] is a measure of how much you procrastinate.

  • I'm afraid I'm completely out of touch with tagging here, so someone please correct my stab in the dark tagging effort as necessary.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 9:27
  • 8
    Sorry. I meant to answer this question but I have to put it off till tomorrow.
    – Robusto
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 10:14
  • 5
    @Robusto: I propose robustivity, then.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 10:17
  • I think ADHD would be appropiate. ;-)
    – oosterwal
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 20:31
  • Pity, woolgatherance doesn't seem to exist. Perhaps it's time someone got around to fixing that. "Since we gave our staff new smart phones, they have experieced a striking dearth of round tuits."
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 20:42

8 Answers 8


I don't think you need a word that includes "rate of"; you can just use procrastination.

Our staff's procrastination has doubled since we gave them new smart phones.

That said, this might work better with a slight rephrase:

Procrastination has doubled since we gave the staff new smart phones.

You can even rephrase the productivity sentence to match:

Productivity has doubled since we upgraded the staff's computers.

  • 1
    What about "Our production of P.R. statements has expanded four times since we gave our head of P.R. a new smartphone and a new assistant" ?
    – ogerard
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 20:04
  • I like the way you think ogerard! :p Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 12:01
  • I agree. I would go so far as to say rate is not an adjective that you would apply to procrastination at all. I think you are really trying to say amount of procrastination. And in @Martha's suggestion, procrastination implies amount, not rate.
    – Henry74
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 20:47

Our staff has achieved maximal velleity.

  • On a related note, what about pusilanimity ?
    – ogerard
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 16:18

I'm not sure the words are a proper fit for "rate of procrastination" but I'd suggest slackness and sluggishness

slackness has this idiom that fits

cut/give (someone) some slack

To make an allowance for (someone), as in allowing more time to finish something

though in the case of procastinating, one gives oneself some slack

  • I like sluggishness: works get done but more slowly, activity is more diffuse and viscous. But I am afraid the original poster would like to have a more politically correct word at his disposal.
    – ogerard
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 10:14

I would modify the sentence rather than try to find a word that fits. You don't really think about doubling the lack of something. If anything, you might say, "The productivity has been halved since we gave them smart phones" since you can half productivity, but it's difficult to imagine doubling what would be the opposite of productivity.

  • 4
    "You don't really think about doubling the lack of something." I am afraid it is quite common. Think of debt, for instance
    – ogerard
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 20:01
  • 1
    I'm going to have to disagree with you. Debt represents negative money, though it's still a quantity of money you're talking about. If one person doesn't have it, another does. So doubling your debt means the amount of money owed by you is doubled. Procrastination is a concept which can't be measured by a number and therefore can't really be doubled without some context added.
    – Neil
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 9:50
  • you are right recalling procrastination is an evasive notion by essence. If it is difficult to quantify, it does not make great sense to double or halve.
    – ogerard
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 10:17

The most direct antonym of "productivity" is "unproductivity."

That words sounds a little awkward to me however; another word is "idleness."

  • +1, the asker really seemed to be looking for antonyms of productivity.
    – Patrick M
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 15:16

There is a state of "torpor" meaning near quiescent inactivity.

Our staff's torpor has doubled so far and looks to go even higher.

  • from Latin, from torpere ‘be numb or sluggish.’
    – JMP
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 18:20

You could try:

"Our staff's proclivity for cunctation has doubled since we gave them new smart phones."


The word I might use is "tardiness."

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