There is a difference between having too much work and therefore delaying something, and problematic procrastination. Those who have too much work have to make choices and thus change certain tasks from one deadline to another. Those who postpone tasks either know how to set their priorities (but fail to communicate them properly), or have difficulty in setting priorities and are therefore finding it difficult to complete things.
Delaying behaviour - or procrastination - is detrimental to working together in a team. If a colleague is dependent on completing your tasks, you put his planning and objectives at risk.
Delaying behaviour and perfectionism go hand in hand. Striving for perfection can paralyse someone to finish something. After all, the unfinished cannot be judged. Also, by definition, what is not finished can always be improved. A perfectionist tries to do good for everyone, but that is not always possible. 'Better done than perfect' must, therefore, be framed for everyone who suffers from perfectionism.
Transparency helps. The role of many project managers and marketing managers is to coordinate with everyone involved to ensure that everything goes according to plan and to make adjustments where necessary. Waiting until the deadline of a larger project and noticing that it could not be met, is problematic.
Excellent communication is crucial in a team. That's why teams organise 'status meetings'. At such a moment, everyone is forced to offer transparency in his or her work. Moreover, it is a new deadline that can help the born postponer to get a few things done.
A status meeting that only reviews statuses is irrelevant.
It is better to provide permanent transparency within a team in the work that is about to be done. Software can help with this: for your own organisation and cooperation in a team. Make sure your projects and tasks are known to your colleagues. Indicate what you are doing, and where you are blocked. Automatically let them know that a task has been completed, or quickly and easily ask for feedback associated with a task or a planned communication moment.
A status meeting must be short and has the objective of detecting and resolving blocks. Who can respond to whom? Where should expectations be adjusted? A separate meeting should deepen the content of the matter and should be prepared by all those involved.
Sometimes there's too much work to do. What do you have to do?
It sounds logical, and it is. However, giving a message to a superior, a colleague, a supplier or a customer is not always easy.
Go ahead and practice these sentences:
The triangle of time, budget and quality must always remain in balance. Does it have to be done sooner? The expected objective must be adjusted, or more budget must be provided by calling in extra help. The sooner, the better.
The result may also be that you decide not to finish something and therefore to postpone it or not to start it because there are other priorities.
Too much is too much. A project briefly is put 'on hold' or ends up in the 'backlog'.
That's OK. What's more, it's necessary to make your work as meaningful as possible. You can say No, you can postpone as well. However, it has to be done cautiously, and it has to be communicated with the people involved.
In designing the template functionality for Husky's Task Lists, reworking the Task List Overview, and developing Task Scheduling with Outlook integration - we have given a lot of thought to the role of task management in a tool for marketing teams.
A marketer has many projects running simultaneously. He doesn't have the luxury of a software developer who can focus on one project and work that out from front to back. The most critical challenge is to maintain many things and to launch something new or to rework something from time to time completely. I like to compare it to a circus artist who spins plates on sticks. One plate is possible. A few too. It becomes difficult when dozens of plates have to keep spinning at the same time. And yet that is often the reality.
Moreover, the marketer is often a project manager and executor at the same time. He needs an overview, has to be able to set priorities, and has to be able to indicate the status for himself and his colleagues. Because he is also an implementer, software must also help him to work faster. The task lists, for example, are particularly useful for this purpose.