People are more likely to begin a job when, from a time perspective, it appears to be a part of the present, the findings showed.

On the other hand, they are less likely to start work on assignments that seem to be part of the future.

"The key step in getting things done is getting started. If you never get started, you cannot possibly finish," said Yanping Tu from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business in US.

"But that urgency, that needs to actually work on a task, happens when that task is seen as part of a person's present," Tu explained.

For the study, Tu and her co-author Dilip Soman of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management conducted a series of studies to support their theory.

"We have shown how goals are perceived in time are clearly linked to people's views of when and whether to begin work," Tu added.

The study appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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