How to Manage Procrastinators in the Office

Tired female employee
Tired female employee


Every office has procrastinators who slowly erode the company’s quality. That’s if no one holds them accountable for their detrimental habit, and no one seeks to remedy the situation. Here are ways to handle the procrastinators in your office.

Keep deadlines short

Procrastination comes in various forms. Most of us probably, at one point in our lives, have put a task on hold promising to take care of it at another time when we could have done it right away.

One of the reasons we tend to postpone finishing a task is the deadline seems far away. This leads us to believe that we can complete the task later since there’s no time constraint. On top of that, we assume that it’s easy to do, which is why we put it off until the last minute.

That’s also the reason the chronic procrastinators in your office keep doing what they do. No one is giving them a short deadline. What you can do is when you’re giving them tasks, say, sending an OpenText eDOCS Solution to your clients, tell them that the deadline is immediate. Avoid giving them too big of a wiggle room to force them to act fast.

Explain the deadlines

However, just because you’ve given them a short deadline doesn’t guarantee that they will do their job right away. In fact, most procrastinators are more prone to developing their ability to make excuses than developing the habit to finish their tasks immediately.

To counter this behaviour, explain to them the reason for the short deadline. Tell them that you need their reports in the next three hours or by the end of the day because you still have to check them for any error or missing data before you send it to your superior.

Remove distractions

Another reason procrastinators are like that is they get easily distracted. Working can be such a bore that when we something not related to work, we automatically switch our focus to that other thing because it’s more interesting.

Many employees have wasted hours playing games on their mobile phones, for example. Some have also wasted hours watching cats and kittens on YouTube when they should have been doing their jobs.

To keep your employees focused on their tasks, try to remove anything that could distract them. Issue a policy prohibiting them to access sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest during work hours. Also, let them know that anyone caught violating this policy will be suspended to really drive the point into their minds.

Give them tasks one at a time

Stressed male employee

Procrastinators hate multitasking. This is why when they’re given a ton of tasks, they get overwhelmed easily. This then causes them to divert their attention to something else that’s not work-related. What you can do is give your employees one task at a time, but for each task, give them a short deadline.

Working with procrastinators can be difficult sometimes. Even if you take these steps, it’s no guarantee that they will change their ways. In the end, you should always think about what’s best for the company. So, if your procrastinating employees aren’t improving, it might be better to find somebody else.

About the author

Kody Hudson

Meet Kody Hudson, an experienced tech writer and entrepreneur. Kody has worked in the tech industry for over a decade and is passionate about helping small businesses succeed with modern solutions. With his vast knowledge of digital marketing and business strategies, he can provide expert advice on maximizing success with tech solutions. Aside from tech, Kody loves outdoor activities, collecting vinyl records, and cooking. Join Kody on his journey to help businesses grow smarter and stronger with the latest technology.