There are a million and one articles out there about how to stop procrastinating. This column isn’t one of them. This column is here to tell you that this is such a thing as procrastinating too little.
If that seems like utter nonsense to you, fear not. It was complete gibberish to me too when I first came across the science of something called “precrastination,” but the research on the subject turns out to be pretty clear. We can make ourselves less productive by rushing to do tasks, just as much as by putting them off. Here’s how.
You probably shouldn’t have, according to a now classic 2014 experiment by Pennsylvania State University psychologist David Rosenbaum. For his study Rosenbaum asked students to pick up a bucket and carry it down a hallway, specifically asking them to do the task in the easiest way possible. That sounds simple enough, but here’s the twist: the students could choose to either grab one bucket that was halfway down the hallway or another that was just a short distance from the end.
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