We have all known procrastinators or have been one at some point ourselves. Managing a procrastinator can be a frustrating and difficult situation. Let’s face it, procrastination not only affects our business but it affects our sanity. One of the obligations of a good manager is to mentor those we manage and help them achieve their project and career goals.
There are ways to help a procrastinator from falling into those same destructive patterns. One way to help them is to find a way to help your procrastinator take that baby step to simply start the project they are putting off. The hardest part of a project is often taking that first step. A procrastinator might be overwhelmed by looking at the big picture and simply not start. To facilitate that first step, talk your procrastinator through the process of getting started. Break the project up into steps so that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Set up weekly or biweekly meetings to facilitate the flow of the project. Teaching them the time management and organization skills that helped you become successful can be helpful to them.
This kind of management is not something that will or should last for longer than a couple projects. It is important to set firm goals with consequences. You may find that the employee needs too much handholding which can be a time drain and counterproductive. Learn when to cut your losses. Stick to your goals and consequences knowing that this is for your benefit (and sanity) as well as that of the procrastinator.