Here’s a look at three interesting stories currently in the news with ramifications for your team’s productivity.
1. Surprising benefits of procrastinating
If you’re used to feeling guilty about procrastinating, you’ll enjoy Larry Kim’s piece at Medium about some of the surprising benefits of procrastinating. For starters, he writes, procrastination can make you more efficient: “If you’re the type of person who works more efficiently and can be more productive while under the pressure of the ticking clock, work with it. You’ll still get your work in on time and will be happier than if you’d spent the week mulling over how weak you are.” Procrastination can also cut out unnecessary work if things change between the time work is assigned and the time it’s due; can give your ideas time to percolate and improve; and can lead to higher quality, better thought out work. If you’re not convinced, he also points out that in ancient Greece and Rome, procrastination was highly regarded; you were thought to clearly be a leader if you had time to think things over and refrain from acting until you had fully thought out a decision.
For those of you who want to stop procrastinating to fix those manual processes that are slowing down your team's productivity, download the Process Improvement Playbook: Overcoming Manual Processes in the Workplace.
Now let’s look at the opposite of procrastination…
2. Pre-crastination: doing things too quickly
Pre-crastination is the opposite of procrastination: rather than putting things off, doing them too quickly, even if it might be advantageous to wait. Bob Pothier writes in Inc. that you might be a pre-crastinator if you reply right away to emails about problems rather than waiting until you’ve thought it through; if you start on major assignments right away rather than waiting; and even if you start buying holiday gifts before Thanksgiving. The issue, of course, is that jumping on things immediately isn’t always good; waiting to answer an email until you have time to think, for example, can lead to a better answer. Pothier argues that waiting is especially important when a project requires creativity of innovation, and that the parts of our brains that respond quickly are often the ones with the cognitive biases. It’s an interesting read!
3. Misconceptions about remote work
Trello has compiled 10 misconceptions about remote work and knocks them down one by one in this satisfying piece on their blog. They debunk such frustrating old standbys as “remote work means productivity decreases” (noting research that finds it often goes up); that remote workers are out of regular contact with everyone else; the idea that communication suffers when people are remote; that remote work means your business data is unsafe; that remote workers end up never disconnecting from work; and that they’re just streaming Netflix all day. (They also claim that remote workers do actually put on pants every day, which may or may not be true. For a funny story or two, check out When Remote Work Goes Really, Really Wrong)