Procrastination Paradox

The more time we are given to complete a task, the longer we will take to do it. 

This is similar to Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” 

We often procrastinate if we do not set deadlines, especially if the expectations of difficulty and importance are unclear.

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Time Management

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Urgency Bias

When we are facing multiple deadlines, we often tend to focus on the tasks in front of us rather than the ones that seem far off, regardless of how important they might be. 

The farther away a deadline, the more unrealistic and abstracted our planning becomes. The closer a deadline, the more focussed and productive we become.
Self-Imposed Vs External
study on procrastination and deadlines found that some people may be able to set their own deadlines and stick to them, but when deadlines are set externally, we are often better at keeping them.
 ... based on importance, not time. 

Prioritize your projects based on importance first, and your employees will use Parkinson’s Law and urgency bias to their best advantage. 

If a project has low importance, set it a bit farther out.

Mention the impact and positive results of completing the assignment. Employees will have more meaning and purpose to overcome procrastination.

Employees will be more motivated into staying on top of deadlines if managers set a good example by being consistent, supportive and trustworthy.  

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RELATED IDEAS

Plans rarely go as smoothly as planned, so it’s always wise to set a buffer time in place. 

Break down the project into smaller tasks and before the deadline, schedule a day or two to give yourself a breather to review your project, to allow for delays or last-minute changes. 

5

IDEAS

The Yerkes-Dodson law states that the more mental arousal there is in doing a task, the more efficient a person becomes. After you get to a certain threshold, your performance begins to decrease.

An appropriate quantity of stress should inspire increased productivity.

We All Tend To Make The Same Mental Mistakes

Economists used to believe that people will always choose the option that maximizes their well-being. But people act against their rational self-interest all the time.

We procrastinate and eat junk food and say yes to the things we don't have time for. Two Israeli psychologists found that we predictably make the same mental mistakes that can be avoided if we are aware of them.

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