Everyone procrastinates, be they an employee, a team leader, or even the CEO of the company. For your employees to procrastinate less, you, as a leader, need to set an example they can follow by changing your own attitude toward procrastination. Here’s what you can do to reduce procrastination in your workplace and feel good about your project results.
Talk About Procrastination
Although procrastination is common, people are ashamed of talking about it for fear of judgment. However, in order to battle procrastination, it’s important to confront it, talk about it, and inspire employees to make use of every moment. In her TED Talk, Archana Murthy discusses the roots of procrastination and offers an approach that can help to eliminate the temptation. Murthy mentions that for everyone, procrastination comes as a result of negative thinking, including guilt, anxiety, low self-worth, and depression. Furthermore, procrastination is often followed by self-hatred and self-blame.
Use the 5 Second Rule
Consider following the 5 second rule, discussed by Mel Robbins in her book (aptly titled The 5 Second Rule). According to Robbins, you should act on your impulses or ideas within five seconds from the time they visit your mind or else procrastination might get in the way of actually reaching your goal. This technique helps to deal with unnecessary emotions, fear, and doubt, leaving individuals with enough determination to immediately do what they’ve planned. In a work environment, especially in a multi-project company, delaying tasks can delay several projects. Jan Willem Tromp, a co-founder of Epicflow, warns that timely task performance by every single employee on your teams is important since one person can delay all projects. Following the 5 second rule at work can not only reduce procrastination but secure timely delivery of projects. Here’s a video of the creator of this approach, Mel Robbins, talking about her invention:
In many cases, employees procrastinate because they’re afraid of making a mistake or are not quite sure how to do (or when to do) certain tasks. Not having a well-defined project plan and not knowing the deadline for each task encourages employees to procrastinate. In her TED Talk “The Vaccination for Procrastination,” Bronwyn Clee analyzes the psychology of procrastination and makes it evident that fear is one of the root causes of this issue. If you give your employees a clear vision of the project, its plan, and its deadlines, they’ll feel more comfortable about making project decisions. Epicflow is a multi-project management tool that can help your employees embrace decision-making by visualizing each project from the very beginning till the very end.
Get a Project Management Tool
When we’re under the pressure of pressing deadlines and project responsibility, we often don’t know what to start with. So we procrastinate instead. Using a project management tool with task and project prioritization functionality is a great idea. It will not only improve time management on your simultaneous projects but also help your employees organize their work better on account of clear task priorities. Epicflow is just such a tool: It works great with small startups as well as large enterprises, managing multi-project environments and making sure that all projects are delivered on time and within budget. Epicflow is based on an algorithm that performs project calculations and prioritizes tasks, letting employees know what they should do and when. It’s a proven option for reducing employee procrastination and improving overall project achievements.
Increase Accountability for Project Success
If your employees procrastinate, it’s quite possible that they just don’t realize how important their work is for the success of the company’s projects. Not feeling accountable encourages people to procrastinate and shy away from work responsibilities. Your task is to let each employee understand that their input matters and that what they do for the project is crucial for the success of the whole team and even for the company. The feeling of being in charge and the feeling of responsibility make employees more conscious of their role at the company and the change they can bring by being proactive.
Our researchers have come up with multi-project management software that reduces procrastination and considerably improves project results. If you’re interested in software for managing multiple projects, make sure to leave your contact information and sign up for a demonstration below.