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Beating Procrastination with Self-Imposed Deadlines 213

castironwok writes "Procrastination attracts us because of hyperbolic time discounting: the immediate (guilty) rewards are disproportionally more compelling than the greater delayed cost. Procrastination is the reward itself. An MIT professor found that when he allowed his students to give themselves their own homework deadlines, they would artificially restrict themselves to counter procrastination. However, they did not set deadlines for optimal effectiveness. I am personally a huge procrastinator and it's always a pull between rational logic (giving yourself the most time by choosing end dates as the deadline), and your past experience saying you will put it off so force yourself to start early."

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982