In this study at MIT, we learn that setting self-imposed early deadlines for ourselves may improve our performance and reduce the likelihood that we'll finish the job late. If we have more than one thing to do, though, "artificial" self-imposed deadlines may not be as good as external ones that space out tasks in an even fashion.
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Procrastination at MIT
The Problem of Procrastination
Relaxed and Tense Procrastinators at Wikipedia