What happens when we move back deadlines — once we get past the initial feeling of sweet relief? Research suggests we have a lot of difficulty using our newly-found time wisely. We wind up facing the same problem again — the same time pressure, the same stress, the same feeling-not-quite ready — only now we’ve gone an additional week, or month, or year without reaching an important goal.

So why do we squander the time extensions we are given, and what can we do about it? The answer to the latter requires an understanding of the former, so let’s start there.

Problem #1: We lose motivation

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