In the article by Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener “Are You a Procrastinator or an Incubator?”, procrastination is explained expertly. “Procrastination is the result of having very little motivation for a boring or unpleasant activity and it is something everyone experiences. The real problem is that procrastination can sometimes overshadow a hidden strength,” Biswas-Diener states.
This article fascinated me, as I’m a certified Postive Psychology Coach through Robert’s organization and a student of Dr. Diener, who incidentally is the son of Dr. Ed Diener, one of the founders of Positive Psychology.
Time management is a huge issue in our personal lives, and certainly in the business sector. Leaders are responsible for not only their own time management, but also for their employees’ time management (in a broader sense – observing and adjusting their time as necessary). “Procrastinators may have a habit of putting off important work. They may not ever get to projects or leave projects half finished. Importantly, when they do complete projects, the quality might be mediocre as a result of their lack of engagement or inability to work well under pressure”, states Biswas-Diener.
The problem that arises of “not having enough time” is discussed in depth by Dr. Stephen Covey’s Table of Time Quadrants (pg. 50, The Prosperous Leader). By adapting the ideas I explain throughout Chapter 6, you can learn to manage and alter your procrastination to better your work ethic…and time management in your personal life!
Yet, we must remember what Biswas-Diener tells us, that incubation is not procrastination. It really comes down to the fact that everyone is different, and we must evaluate employees on a singular basis. Incubators tend to look like procrastinators - both work styles put off work until the last possible moment, but incubators produce superior work while procrastinators miss important deadlines and may produce shoddy work! Take a look at the questionnaire below and see the difference between the two.
Do you think you are an incubator, or that you may have an employee that is one? Take this quiz to find out:
Use the scale below to answer the following questions:
4 - Perfectly describes me
3 - Describes me somewhat
2 - Does not really describe me
1 - Does not describe me at all
A. ______ I always get my work completed on time.
B. ______ The quality of my work is superior.
C. ______ It takes a looming deadline to motivate me.
D. ______ When I finally get to work, I feel highly engaged.
E. ______ I surprise myself by moving into action at the last minute.
F. ______ I do my best work under pressure.
If you scored a 20 or higher, you may be an incubator.