The dog ate my homework

Procrastination is a thief of time!

While in high school, I had sought the help of a tutor after I wasn’t improving in mathematics. One afternoon as I walked past the Maths teacher’s office, one of them called me inside and in the presence of his colleagues asked me what I had gotten in the just concluded joint Maths exams. When I told him my marks, he laughed so hard he almost fell of his chair. He then asked me, ‘Ann, you mean your parents have brought you all the way here so you can get 17%?’ I can’t tell you how embarrassed and humiliated I felt but I made a decision to do something as about it.

During tuition, I wasn’t finishing my assignments on time, I always had a reason why. I was making excuse after excuse for not committing. I preferred to read maths, instead of physically calculating the sums. I opted for the scientific calculator, because it was faster instead of the log book, which was actually what I was allowed to use. My tutor was determined though and I did well in the final exam.

Over time, I have realized that when we procrastinate, we begin to make excuses for simple things that we could easily do and get over with. As employees, we often have reasons why we could not properly do our jobs. There is always someone other than us who is responsible for our failure to do things. Then there are those who blame the devil for all their mistakes. The last time an employee accused the devil for his continued mistakes, I demanded that he brings that devil to the meeting because I knew had to confront this devil face to face and resolve the matter for good. He couldn’t find it and we all confirmed what we already knew, he was his own devil.

As a Manager, it is one thing to understand and be patient with your employees and it’s another to put up with bullshit. It is important to bring your Oxdometer to work daily and use it whenever necessary. Oxdometer is the instrument I use to measure bullshit, it helps me weed out the facts from stories. You need to create a culture of accountability. Everyone must be held accountable for their actions. When you keep responding to your staff with, ‘it’s ok’ even though you know that it is not, employees will walk all over your authority.

Accountability requires that you own up to your mistakes and work on correcting them. If someone else is hindering you from doing your job, talk to them about it, speak to someone who can help you, follow up and have the matter resolved instead of waiting for things to blow over before the blame game begins. And most importantly, that line of communication must remain open at all times.


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