The Best Way to Eliminate Procrastination is Easier Than You Think, Says New Research

The Best Way to Eliminate Procrastination is Easier Than You Think, Says New Research

They say procrastination is the thief of time—actually deadlines are.

New research from the University of Otago has found that if you want someone to help you out with something, it is best not to set a deadline at all. But if you do set a deadline, make it short.

Professor Stephen Knowles, from the Otago Business School, Department of Economics, and his co-authors tested the effect of deadline length on task completion for their research.

Participants were invited to complete an online survey in which a donation goes to charity. They were given either one week, one month, or no deadline to respond.

Professor Knowles says the research began because he and his team—Dr Murat Genç, from Otago’s Department of Economics, Dr Trudy Sullivan, from Otago’s Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, and Professor Maroš Servátka, from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management—were interested in helping charities raise more money.

However, the results are applicable to any situation where someone asks another person for help. This could be asking a colleague for help at work or asking your partner to do something for you, Professor Knowles says.

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