Procrastination: a problem of the entrepreneur that can reduce our productivity
Do not put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today, it’s what praises the famous English saying, and it is damn right. And it’s just that the procrastination is one of the biggest problems that the workers and entrepreneurs suffer on its daily life. From Latin procrastinare, it is divided between pro, forward, and castinare, referring to the future; it is about the delay of assignments or activities that must be attended in a certain moment and that in some cases they are completely left to a side.
And even if we have in a lot of moments a lot of work to be done, the laziness ends up winning and we have to delay that obligation. However, the procrastination is not a problem that affects only the entrepreneurs and workers; it is a problem that also negatively affects in all society and ends up reverting the productivity in a country.
Normally, it affects assignments that are not enjoyable to do, either because they are boring or complicated, or because we are under a lot of pressure or even if we are afraid to success. But where normally this bad habit tends to extend is in those assignments that don’t have a delivery deadline or that the delivery deadline is not close to the actual date.
The example of Dan Arely and Klaus Wertenbroch
In more than a decade ago, two researchers, Dan Ariely and Klaus Wertenbroch, hired 60 students to check three passages of a book with the objective of studying how the presence of a delivery deadline affects our way of working, and they assign a delivery deadline to the student in this way:
– The first 20 students were assigned with three weekly delivery deadlines, one for every passage.
– The other 20 were assigned with a final delivery deadline.
– And the last 20 could establish their own delivery deadline.
For every mistake detected on the books, the students will receive 10 cents of a dollar, while for every day of delay they were penalized with a dollar. The results proved not only that the presence of delivery deadlines improved the productivity, but also the delivery deadlines that were established by the students worked in a worse way compared to the final delivery deadline.
As you can see on the next graph, while there was more restraint of the work about the delivery deadlines, the more was the number of detected mistakes and the less of the delays, which logically turned out to generate more incomes to those with weekly deliveries and revisions.