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Weekly Wisdom #85 by Paul Gray and David E. Drew

DEADLINESMany graduate students and professors hate deadlines even though they pervade academic life.  If your dissertation isn’t completed and approved by a specific date, you do not march at graduation.  Requests for proposals require submission by a date certain.  Book publisher’s contracts and professional meetings set deadlines for submitting a polished draft. Grades are due shortly after the end of the semester or trimester. The list goes on. The truth is that deadlines are friends, not enemies.  They force you to finish and free your mind to move on to the next task. We know academics who lament that, were it not for a deadline, their article or proposal would bemuch, much better.  We doubt that.  We estimate that three additional months spent on an article or proposal improves a paper by, at most, 15%. Better an excellent paper completed than a perfect paper never finished.


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