Let’s face it, much tension in the workplace is caused by deadlines and not managing them effectively. Let’s think about what often happens………
Let’s say today is Monday and John is asked to prepare a report and has a deadline of this Friday. Due to other time pressures he might not get around to starting this report until Wednesday at which time he then realises that he needs input from Zoe.
John starts to feel a little stressed and so probably doesn’t ask Zoe so much as tell Zoe that he needs it my lunchtime tomorrow. Zoe now has to drop everything and feel stressed about getting this information to John by the deadline.
Zoe is also probably wasting some time complaining to other co-workers about how disorganised John is – valuable time and energy which could be used to actually complete the task. Meanwhile, John is also stressed about whether or not Zoe will be able to deliver and can’t really focus that well on other tasks in the meantime.
What’s actually happening from a neuroscience standpoint?
Zoe and John are now moving from the “good stress level” required by the brain for optimal performance, to the “overwhelmed” level where productivity starts to go down and effort levels start to rise – ironically at the time you really need the opposite to happen.
Due to tensions starting to rise, the brain’s need for safety is starting to get challenged and therefore John and Zoe may start to behave negatively towards themselves and others out of defence – mostly all negative behaviour is driven by feeling threatened instead of feeling safe and open to opportunity.
Negative behaviours have a cancerous result on a business and generally keep spiralling. Now John and Zoe both seem “unapproachable” which may adversely impact other people in the team who aren’t even involved in the report.
So how could all of this be avoided?
Quite simply really…….think of a work environment where everyone planned their diary at least 6 weeks in advance. Now before you say “it’s just not possible – things come up”. Yes they do – but you can guarantee there are plenty of things that are in your control – studies often say somewhere around 60% of your work is actually within your control. Even if you only plan your diary 6 weeks in advance for the things you can control and then effectively plan time and energy to allow for things you cannot control, you would complete many tasks before they actually became a really close deadline.
High performers impose their own deadlines on themselves to keep their stress levels in the high performance zone and get everything done without ineffective stress.
Want to know more about how to do this? We’d love for you to get in touch today……