When one is an entrepreneur or a manager, they can easily become frustrated by the lackluster attitude of their employees. Some star employees are a lifesaver, and probably the only reason a leader keeps his sanity.
However, the fact remains that there are several people who would rather procrastinate than get down to business. We all have the tendency to procrastinate to some extent. A leader, though, is passionate and concerned about the task at hand. They want it to be done as quickly, efficiently, and as well as possible. When this is not happening, they get frustrated and even confused.
As a result, there are several management theories to counteract the procrastination instinct. Below are some general guidelines on how one can go about this.
1. Don’t Leave It To Them
If one is used to working in an environment where everyone is efficient, they may tend to give their own workers responsibility. This kind of decision could backfire in the worst way possible. If your workers have problems meeting their self-imposed deadlines, it may be a good idea to impose deadlines yourself.
A leader may tend to think that letting workers choose and schedule their work is a good idea. With some workforces, it is. If the individuals there are able to follow a plan they themselves have constructed, all is well. However, one must keep in mind that such plans usually do not work out.
In fact, several studies have shown that when workers are left to their own time management, they usually fail. They are most likely to leave off the work for tomorrow, by which time more work has piled up.
2. Don’t Use Negative Reinforcers
Showing a worker who’s in charge is usually a negative reinforce for many human being. It may result in a worker rebelling and delaying work for the sole purpose of irritating the manager. Trying to bully someone may have short-term effects, but would result in a dissatisfied employee.
Another negative reinforcer is a strict deadline or a too-short one. When you give a worker a deadline, you need to give yourself some time to check over their work as well. Many managers make the mistake of giving their team member too little time, in order to give themselves more. Once this become apparent to the workers, they would find ways and means to delay the work even more.
3. The GTD Theory
Getting Things Done (GTD) is one of many task-based time management theories. This theory does deal with the self-imposition of deadlines, but it does so in a different way. The way in which the GTD theory works is by breaking every task into a sequence. This turns an insurmountable task into a manageable series of steps. When a person looks at a small task as the next on the list, they would be more likely to do it.
When the whole workload seems less daunting, workers are less likely to procrastinate. If a workforce cannot break down the work themselves, their manager can do it for them. He can then dole out these small tasks which the workers would complete according to their schedule.
4. Give Employees Meaning In Tasks
Sometimes, when employees keep putting off work, it may mean they don’t have any interest in it. On the other hand, their leader knows just how important certain tasks are. Instead of getting frustrated or tensed up about the lack of headway, they can sit down and explain the importance of the work.
Usually, an employee who keeps procrastinating feels demotivated. They might feel they’re being treated like a machine or robot; employers simply feed information and expect them to deliver. However, if they are given the background of the work they’re doing, even the most monotonous task can become exciting.
If employees feel like they’re doing something important for the betterment of society or the company, they’ll do their best. Similarly, if they are made to feel just how important their position and contribution is, they would act more responsibly.
5. Have A Support System
A manager has to decide how deadlines, projects, and schedules have to work. However, dealing with employees is something that has a much larger impact.
If a leader treats his subordinates in a just manner and gives credit where it is due, he would be respected. As a result, any task he gives to his team members would become a priority with them.
Employees would also feel more comfortable in going up to such a leader and telling them their genuine problems. This could make for a better work environment overall, and help both parties to manage their work and deadlines in a timely and efficient manner.
Procrastination is something that has and will probably always be there. We have all put off studying for a test, but too much of it can become dangerous. In order to avoid great losses through procrastination, employers are recommended to follow the tips above.