Faizel Patel – 29/10/2020
A University of Stellenbosch Business School MBA graduate says research shows that intelligent people tend to procrastinate more than others.
Procrastination affects 45% of adults at some point in their lives and a quarter of adults describe themselves as procrastinators.
One study estimates that procrastinating employees waste a quarter of their working days at a large cost to companies.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Sam Orton says there are many reasons people procrastinate.
Orton says procrastination costs companies hundreds of thousands of rands.
“It’s estimated that procrastination costs companies ten thousand Dollars or roughly R 165,000 depending on the exchange rate per employee, per annum. That is a serious, serious problem and it often overlooked, people often make jokes about procrastination, ‘I’ll do it later’, that type of thing. But ultimately, it’s actually very, very serious.”
Orton says there is a solution to chronic procrastination by employees adding that he looked at the same distractions that motivates people to play games cold also motivate people to stop wasting company time.
He says “gamification”, the use of game design elements like avatars, scores, leaderboards and virtual rewards in non-game contexts such as apps for learning a skill or tracking one’s exercise – or, in this case, a gamified smartphone app targeted at boosting productivity.
Orton says Gamification can contribute to the motivation that helps procrastinators overcome their work-delaying tactics, could also help those working from home in the “new normal” of COVID-19 to set goals, manage their time and feel more connected to work amid household distractions.
“The theory it underlines is called the self-determination theory. It basically says that each human being has three basic psychological needs. The need for autonomy, to feel competent and they got a need for social relatedness and they should feel that they are part of something. If you could introduce gamification elements into the workplace to promote these three basic needs, research shows that people should be more engaged, find the job more exciting and ultimately procrastinate less.”
Orton warns that for organisations wanting to apply gamification strategies, “it can’t be superficial or just another thing to do”.
Listen to the interview with Sam Orton