Procrastinating issues in projects is by far the deadliest of sins a project manager can commit.
- What does procrastinate mean?
- Impact of procrastination on issues in projects
- Low morale
- Increased procrastination
- Solving procrastination issues in projects
- Determine why you procrastinate
- Devise a plan
- Set up a reward system
- Peer pressure
- Keep distractions to a minimum
- Find the most productive time
- Don’t push for perfection
- Procrastinating issues in projects: conclusions
Procrastination is nothing like being lazy and not wanting to work. Procrastination means undermining the entire project if not even the entire Organization that focuses on that project.
Let’s dig deeper into this in this article as well as giving you valuable tips to address this habit.
What does procrastinate mean?
Procrastination is the act of waiting until the last minute to do those tasks that have a relatively high priority and typically require more effort than others.
You procrastinate when you work first on those tasks that are easy to do or are of a lower priority.
Procrastination can be related not only to how you perform tasks or solve problems, but also to how you make decisions.
Although it is considered normal for people to procrastinate to some extent, it becomes a problem when procrastination impairs the normal operation of projects because they are not completed on time.
Impact of procrastination on issues in projects
Within project management, the effects of procrastination can be extremely detrimental, not only to the project manager and their team, but to the project as a whole and, in the most serious cases, to the organization itself.
Here are the impacts that procrastination can have on project management:
Morale is how employees feel about their work, their coworkers, and their supervisors.
When it is high, work ethic is enhanced and employees will work harder, longer, and happier. Conversely, when it is low, employees will not be motivated to work, which can lead them to procrastinate even more.
Procrastination also creates a stressful situation where you have to “rush” to meet task deadlines.
This means, for example, that the team is forced to work overtime and work much longer hours.
This is made worse if the project manager himself procrastinates.
Putting things off for a later time or at the last minute can actually raise your stress levels.
If you procrastinate for a long time, work assignments begin to stack up until eventually you will have several hours or weeks of work to catch up on in a short period of time.
For some people, the adrenaline rush of waiting until the last minute can be exciting, but for most, this will only mean an increase in stress levels which, in some cases, can be detrimental to your health.
The underlying cause of procrastination is being forced to do something that you find boring or unpleasant, which is why you shy away from it in order to do something fun and exciting.
The problem with this is that when you avoid the activity the first time, you tend to keep doing it, making it more and more unpleasant.
Procrastination can then lead to negative consequences such as stress, guilt, and decreased personal productivity, as well as social disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments.
These feelings, combined, can lead to further procrastination.
Solving procrastination issues in projects
Determine why you procrastinate
To get things to improve, you need to understand why you are procrastinating.
It could be, for example, poor organization, or maybe fear; they could be overburdened with work or aiming for over-perfection.
It is therefore vital to pinpoint the cause and then find the appropriate solution.
Devise a plan
If procrastination is already a habit, you can still improve the situation.
However, as with most things, you cannot expect improvement overnight.
Firstly, you have to accept the current situation. Science suggests that procrastinators usually feel guilt and anxiety about not doing their job.
Here, then, is where you should focus on finding solutions, motivating yourself by finding ways to improve your time management skills.
Focus on doing instead of avoiding. A simple written list of tasks to be done, perhaps with a specified time, can do wonders for morale.
Set up a reward system
When you succeed in completing a difficult task on time, a small reward for a job well done might be a good idea that helps beat procrastination.
While this may put some pressure on people, it is a well proven method of preventing procrastination.
Whenever possible, asking a peer to keep an eye on tasks that need to be done and to remind them of work when it hasn’t been done yet can be a good solution for some people.
Keep distractions to a minimum
If possible, you should create a distraction-free area in your workplace.
This will help you focus on your tasks and get things done quickly, thus preventing the need for procrastination.
Sometimes, making just a list isn’t enough to improve time management and to actually be productive; you need to prioritize.
This means establishing which tasks are time-sensitive and which can be postponed; this way, you’ll have a clear picture of your workload, but more importantly, you won’t be able to do the easier tasks first if they’re not a priority.
Find the most productive time
Everyone works differently. Some of us are more productive in the morning, others in the evening, but what is common to all is that you have a peak time during the day when you are most productive.
Pinpointing this time of productivity is great for time management and this is where you can focus on the more difficult tasks.
On the other hand, when you need to take a break, you can switch to working on something easier.
Don’t push for perfection
You don’t need to constantly demand perfection every time; some tasks can be satisfactory even without being perfect. Demanding excellence over and over again puts a lot of pressure on everyone.
Of course, this doesn’t mean agreeing with a half-hearted result or a job done poorly, but if it’s within the standard, it’s acceptable.
Procrastinating issues in projects: conclusions
Beating procrastination can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stopped and even prevented.
The first step is to acknowledge that you are a procrastinator, find the main cause, and try to solve the problem.
Different people will have different reasons, so it’s important to follow a strategy that works.
Whatever the reason, the steps listed in this article can be implemented to improve the situation.
One thing you need to remember is not to put too much pressure on yourself: procrastination will not vanish overnight.
Being a project manager is not an easy job and what makes a good project supervisor is efficiency in managing projects, people, time and money.
In all of this, procrastination should have no place and it is desirable to prevent it as much as possible.