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Curbing the Procrastination Instinct by Nicholas G. Carr
«Procrastination is a fact of life, and in business it’s a prime cause of inefficiency and shoddy quality. But is there anything you can do about it? Or is it so ingrained in human nature as to be beyond influence?
New research by two business professors indicates that the way you set deadlines has a profound effect on the degree to which workers procrastinate and even on the ultimate quality of their work. Dan Ariely, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Klaus Wertenbroch, of Insead in Fontainebleau, France, conducted a series of experiments in which they asked participants to perform tasks under different deadline scenarios. In one experiment, three groups of people were asked to complete a complex proofreading assignment. The first group was given a single deadline, three weeks out, for completing all the work. The second group was given a series of interim, weekly deadlines for completing portions of the job. Members of the third were told to set their own interim deadlines. Participants were paid according to the number of errors they corrected and were penalized for missed deadlines.
The results showed dramatic differences in both the timeliness and the quality of the work performed by the three groups. (…) The best performance was delivered by the group that was given a series of interim deadlines; their work was only 0.5 days late on average, and they caught 136 errors. (…) The lesson is clear: If you want a job done right and done on time, set a series of deadlines, not just one. ler aqui


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