We’ve all been there. You’ve had all day to do that report/essay/job application and now you’re ten minutes away from the deadline and panic is setting in. You’ve only just sat down to look at it because you’ve been so busy watching people fall over on Youtube, reading Buzzfeed lists and playing computer games. You know, important things.

Being a procrastinator is as common as people in Camden wearing skinny jeans, but now precrastinating is having a moment, encouraging us to get on with our work first leaving funtime for later. (In other words, there’s a new name for what we really should have been doing all along.)

According to a study by Pennsylvania State University, precrastination means freeing up memory. Researchers placed two buckets, each holding three kilograms of coins, at different points in an alley. The 257 people tested were invited to either pick up the bucket closest to them and carry it to the end of the alley, or pick up the one closer to the finish and carry that to the end.

Most people chose to pick up the bucket that was least far away despite it needing to be carried further, leading scientists to conclude that we’re lazy. Having to remember an end goal is difficult for the brain’s working memory even if it’s as simple as lifting a bucket, so if there’s a quick way to reduce the effort of remembering, most people will go for that.

So what are you, a procrastinator or precrastinator? Use our flow chart below to find out – don’t put it off, do it now!

Flowchart

 

You can procrastinate further by checking out our other features on the subject (but it’ll be time well spent!)…

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Pimp your workspace and be more productive

Has your jobhunt procrastination gone too far?