“There is an overwhelming tendency to precrastinate,” according to a paper published in May in the journal Psychological Science. The behavior might include answering trivial emails, for example, or paying bills far ahead of time. “It’s an irrational choice,” the paper said, but it also reflects the significant trade-offs people make to keep from feeling overwhelmed….
“You’re constantly lured into answering email or answering a phone call,” Professor Castel said. But as the Penn State experiment indicates, getting small tasks out of the way might collectively consume significant resources.
“People who are checking things off the list all the time might look like they’re getting stuff done,” he said, “but they’re not getting the big stuff done.”
Read more from The New York Times article here.