@ScanIAm: While I'm sure we can all agree that deadlines should be based on when the project is done, that doesn't always happen. However, deadlines are usually known ahead of time. Work should be scheduled and prioritized based on that deadline. Sadly, few companies seem to understand this. I'd rather work harder at the beginning so that there is more time to slow down and coast across the finish line.
The few times I've tried to be proactive, I've seen no improvement to the crunch at the end of the project. Usually the subject matter experts (a.k.a. eventual users) will drag their feet and/or wait until the last minute to test (and find bugs).