Procrastination is common problem that can be improved with a little motivation and pre-planning. We can see procrastination at work in projects that are chronically delayed or papers turned in a few minutes before their deadline. People who wait until the last minute to get their work done often show poor quality work and missed deadlines.
Procrastination is a habit and motivational problem. People who are chronically late are subconsciously avoiding starting a project and then force themselves to scramble to get it done. They have not yet developed the discipline and motivation needed to give themselves the best chances.
Assuming that they were successful in getting the project done before the deadline there are a few reasons why as a manager or professor you should discourage such behavior. I have noticed in both the teaching and the business world that the projects are often subpar and contain errors when under duress.
When people are rushed to complete something they cut corners and make mistakes because they are focused on finishing the main components. They also put unnecessary stress on everyone else that must also drop what they are doing to assist in the “all important” project.
Employees who procrastinate are not working at their full potential. Starting early is a sign of good planning and can lead to better project/paper management. Those employees that can manage their time and resources well are ripe for promotion. Reward employees that can manage themselves and their time appropriately--they are the same.