Can you imagine losing 27% of what you pay to each of your employees every day? Well, that’s what a recent study found was happening. According to the study by rebootonline.com, each employee on average spends 122 minutes a day procrastinating. That means these employees are only working 73 percent of their workday, even if their timesheets say otherwise. That’s a lot of money companies are paying their staff not to work.
How Procrastination Happens
An example cited by an expert -- First let’s straighten up our desk, maybe get another cup of coffee and then check social media to see what our friends are having for lunch. Oh, it’s lunchtime now! We’ll get to that anti-procrastination technique after we eat. Well, then we’ll likely be tired and need to digest. Before you know it…quitting time! Don’t worry, we’ll get on it first thing in the morning. What is described here is not a bad employee but an average employee according to the expert.
Bad for Both Employer and Employees
Procrastination is bad for employers because of productivity and money loss. But it is bad for the employees as well. Science has studied procrastination and the results aren’t good. It plays havoc on people’s emotional state and creates more stress. It makes people’s brains work harder because people are not allowing them to rest. But worst of all, procrastination only makes people work harder in the end. Because when people procrastinate, they’re taking more time to get something done, which will put them further behind the next task and even more so if they continue to procrastinate.
How to Stop Procrastination
Procrastination is merely a bad habit, and it can be broken by changing employees’ behavior. According to experts, procrastination can be stopped or minimized by the following.
Enhance accountability with timesheets: If your employees work without accountability, you’re setting them up to procrastinate or worse. When employees are not reporting to someone, the temptation to slack off is great, especially if they’re already a procrastinator. Employees need someone who has more experience than them and can’t be easily fooled by them to check on them daily or weekly, whichever is best suited to their work schedule, either in person or via collaboration software. Timesheet is the best tool to remind employees of their commitments of planned time–and-efforts and allow them to see the actual time and efforts. Timesheet allows managers to see the same information as employees see and they can help their employees to plan catch-ups. Without automated timesheets, employees often forget or ignore their incremental commitments until it is already too late and managers can’t effectively discipline their employees until it is already too late.
Reward success: You’ve heard of the carrot or the stick? That’s choosing to either give someone positive or negative incentives to do something. But how about the carrot and the stick? Think about a stick that is dangling the carrot just out of your reach. That’s motivation! Employees are going to strive forward for that reward. Managers must learn how to motivate employees. Sometimes, an appropriate comment at the right time in the team meeting would do the job. Employees can also treat themselves with something small to get in the right headspace to start the job. Now they are offering to treat themselves after the work is done. Same idea, but different angle.
Routine and discipline: All the above suggestions on how to stop procrastinating require building up the routine and discipline muscles of your teams, but the good news is the more people do it, the more second-nature it becomes.
Automated Timesheet is Key
For project work or white-collar work, it is close to impossible for managers to remember all the incremental time-and-effort commitments of their teams. Without automated timesheets which can function dynamically to update the information, the managers (even if they are good ones) are being perceived as easy-to-be-fooled and they wouldn’t be as effective to discipline their teams as if their organizations had the automated timesheet implemented.