Professor Keith Wilcox (Columbia Business School), says that being busy, or probably just feeling busy, can inoculate us against this demoralising effect. “When you’re busy and you miss a deadline, it’s easy to think to yourself that you may have lost the battle, but you’re still winning the productivity war. For this reason, he suggests that it may even be beneficial to engender in yourself or your staff, a feeling of busyness – not too much obviously, you don’t want to feel overloaded, but just enough.” The research analysed data from a popular productivity app and found that busier people are better at dealing with missed deadlines and more likely to complete the task, even though past research shows that missed deadlines have a demoralising effect. Looking at more than 580,000 tasks, they found that those where a user had rescheduled the deadline (making it likely that the deadline had been missed) were generally less likely to have been completed – confirming the results of previous studies about how people can feel less motivated to complete a task once the deadline has been missed. However, users who had a significant number of other incomplete tasks were more likely to complete delayed tasks than their less busy counterparts.