If you want someone to help you with something, which is better: a short deadline, a long deadline, or no deadline?
This sparked the curiosity of New Zealand researchers. As an experiment, they asked people to complete a five-minute online survey. By completing it, they earn $10 that went to charity. Subjects were given a week, a month, or no deadline to complete the questionnaire.
Not entirely unexpectedly, more responses came within the one-week deadline than the one-month deadline. People felt more pressure to move quickly and a late deadline was more likely. But surprisingly, most of the responses from the group came without a deadline.
The researchers began the study to look at how to persuade people to donate more money to charities, but they now also hope it will prevent procrastination. For example, if you want as many people in your company as possible to do online security training, remember: A late deadline seems to be the worst option. With little or no deadline, you are likely to achieve more success.
Read more about the research here: Otago researchers discover the best way to avoid procrastination.