What is precrastination? Are you guilty of it?

later_nowEveryone has been known to procrastinate from time to time, but there is such a thing as precrastination which can be just as bad. A precrastinator is someone who rushes to finish a project early in order to cross it off their mental to-do list, even if the rush ends up being a waste of time. Psychology professor David Rosenbaum and his two collaborators at Pennsylvania State University coined the term precrastination after conducting an experiment with 257 students. The students were brought to a narrow alley in town, where two buckets were placed on opposite sides of the alley. Each student was then asked to pick up one of the buckets without stopping, in whatever way was easiest and carry it to the other end of the alley. Nearly every student chose the bucket that was closer to them, and therefore farther from the end of the alley, requiring more physical work to complete the task. Rosenbaum concluded that the students wanted to offload “working memory” which is the function of the brain that keeps information and instructions ready for immediate thinking or action. He says that our desire to relieve working memory can be so strong that we are willing to exert more physical energy to achieve it. Being in a rush to finish a task in order to relieve working memory can be inefficient and possibly dangerous. For example, hurrying to finish an assignment at work could cause you to make errors that would cost you more time fixing. Or trying to carry all you groceries in one load could cause physical injury. Although, making sure everything is finished on time is important. It’s never a good idea to rush the assignment in order to get it done early. That can lead to errors and end up costing you more time in the long run. Instead take your time, start early and allow yourself extra time to review. Are you a precrastinatior? Source: Business Insider]]>

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