Sooner Rather Than Later: Precrastination Rather Than Procrastination

David A. Rosenbaum, Lisa R. Fournier, Shelly Levy-Tzedek, Dawn M. McBride, Robert Rosenthal, Kyle Sauerberger, Rachel L. VonderHaar, Edward A. Wasserman, Thomas R. Zentall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Putting things off as long as possible (procrastination) is a well-known tendency. Less well known is the tendency to attempt to get things done as soon as possible, even if that involves extra effort (precrastination). Since its discovery in 2014, precrastination has been demonstrated in humans and animals and has recently been revealed in an analogous tendency called the mere-urgency effect. Trying to get things done as soon as one can may reflect optimal foraging, but another less obvious factor may also contribute—reducing cognitive demands associated with having to remember what to do when. Individual differences may also play a role. Understanding precrastination will have important implications for explaining why hurrying happens as often as it does and may help reduce the chance that haste makes waste.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • cognitive resources
  • foraging
  • hurrying
  • memory load
  • precrastination
  • procrastination
  • prospective memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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