One of the most common problems worrying students is the tendency to put thing off until the last moment - or to beyond the last moment. Of course it is not only students who have trouble with this habit. Probably every one of us has tried to avoid some unpalatable task at some time - it is a natural human reaction. However university students are particularly vulnerable, possibly because of the amount of work expected of them, the lack of formal structure in university and the range of tempting distractions on campus.
We all have our own preferred way of working. If letting the tension build up a bit before you get started works well for you, then there is no reason you should change. However, if you get increasingly behind with your work and end up feeling wretched about yourself and your course the problem needs addressing. Counsellors call the problem procrastination (from the Latin for "until tomorrow") and have given a lot of thought to why it happens and how to deal with it. Many people can and do break this habit.
Have a watch of these videos to see if they help you to start to think about ways of breaking the habit of procrastination. The first video is more practical and the second explores what goes on in our minds when we procrastinate.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions provide detailed modules which help with overcoming different aspects of procrastination, based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. They also provide information sheets which summarise key points on procrastination.
Alternatively, read these tips on how to avoid and overcome procrastination from the counsellors at the State University of New York.