How To Identify And Eliminate Procrastination In The Workplace
Procrastination is the biggest reason for sub par performance in the work place. Why is procrastination such a common phenomenon? How can we minimize it in our own office? How can we minimize it in our own lives? We are all guilty of putting off distasteful tasks, giving the bad performance review to a long time employee, fielding that service complaint, typing up that quarterly report, we all have things we put off to the last minute. What can we do to stop this?
To learn how it can be mitigated first we must understand why it is happening. Motivation is the biggest deterrent of procrastination; if you and your people are motivated they will get things done. If you are not motivated you are going to do the bare minimum required of your position. There is just no reason to do more. People absolutely must be motivated in order for your business to be successful.
There are many ways to motivate your people. There is tons of literature on this subject. To quickly name just a few of the more common methods, reward your people, recognize their achievements and attempt to make their everyday tasks fun.
Barring motivating people (because really you could right a book on that) there are several other ways to keep your people focused. Make a list, lots of people (myself included) love completing tasks and crossing items off a checklist. This gives a measurable sense of accomplishment. Another options is to keep your mind fresh by taking periodic breaks. Research has shown that productivity drops off dramatically after a certain amount of hours are logged into a particular task. So even though on paper it may not add up, it is important to take a break for a few minutes every couple of hours or so. Finally just do it, suck it up and dive into it, the sooner you begin the sooner it will be over, and 99% of the time it will not be half as bad as your mind is making it out to be.
Ultimately procrastination is the thief of time, we are all guilty of it and the harm it does to our businesses is immeasurable. Motivate yourself and the people around you; lack of motivation is the number one cause of procrastination. There are many ways to motivate; if you’re stuck for ideas check out some of these previous posts. If motivation is not an immediate possibility try one of, or all of, these three things. Make a list we all love checking off items on a long list, take breaks, this is important and although counter intuitive it keeps the mind sharp and focused, and finally when all else fails, just do it, the quicker you dive in the faster you get used to the water.
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