Can you imagine what your workplace would look like if there were no deadlines? Nothing would get finished, projects would just keep dragging, and you could eventually close up shop. But, when you do set deadlines it seems that your team becomes stressed as soon as they start approaching.
There is a perfect explanation for why deadlines cause us panic and procrastinate. Fortunately, there is a way to resolve this, and it’s as simple as using an employee time tracking software. But, before we get into how this piece of software can help you with the deadlines, let’s see why they affect people in such a way.
The Psychology Behind Deadlines
In two extreme cases deadlines cause either stress or procrastination. Both of these reactions come from improperly set due dates – they’re either too short or too long.
Let’s say you’ve set up a really long deadline for a new project, employees working on it likely have other things to do as well, so they’ll focus on them thinking there’s enough time for the other project. Even if they’re not swamped with other tasks, they will rather watch a funny video online instead work because they have plenty of time.
In the other case, you set a deadline for next week. Employees who already have other tasks on their plate start panicking, scrambling trying to finish everything on time, and you likely end up with a half-baked task of low quality.
Neither of these scenarios are beneficial for anyone involved, and there must be a way to handle deadlines differently. This is where your time tracker comes into play.
How Employee Time Tracking Software Helps?
First of all, you should be aware that you won’t magically be able to improve the deadline situation as soon as you install the software. You definitely must use it for a while, tracking all tasks and projects your team is working on. Ensure that each team member names the task properly so you’d know how to differentiate them. For example, when creating every new social campaign, your team should name the task “Social Campaign – XYZ”, and so on.
Employees should just start the timer on the appropriate assignment when they start working, and stop it when they’re done. After a while, you’ll have the data for every type of task your team performs each day or week. This will make it much easier for you to understand how long it takes them (with distractions and other projects), so you can set the most realistic due dates every time.
When setting a deadline, you can either use the average time, or go with the worst case scenario, and pick the longest time someone took to complete the assignment in question. Also, you should take into consideration Gadgets Blog, other things your team is working on, and employee time tracking software helps you do just that. Especially if the project dashboard is in Kanban-style so you can see all tasks, employees and teams.
While sticking with the agreed deadline is extremely important in every business, sometimes you’ll just have to accept the fact that sometimes you’ll need to prolong them. Respecting due dates helps you maintain discipline at work, but sometimes things get out of hand and you’ll need to loosen up a little bit.
The culture within your team shouldn’t be turned against deadlines – they help maintain optimal productivity levels, complete projects, and they help you stay in control of what’s happening with your team’s workload. Therefore, you should embrace them in the best way possible – by optimizing them with employee time tracking software.