Success is often a matter of doing the important things long before they become urgent.
Recently, I read about a college professor who was teaching a basic course to three separate classes. In this particular course, the total grade was determined by one final paper to be turned in at the end of the semester.
In one class, he told the students they could turn in their final paper any day up to and including the final day of the semester. In the second class, he gave them milestones every few weeks throughout the semester that the students had to adhere to. And in the third class, he let the students set their own deadlines or milestones.