Researchers at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business have posted some interesting research (via)on the effect of time contraints on productivity when the constraints don’t conform to time increments that we’re used to. Got all that?
There’s a good analogy in the article that basically says if someone asks you to pick them up from the airport and tells you their flight gets in at 3:57, you’ll automatically round that up to 4:00, because that’s an easier number to deal with. Same thing if somebody gives you a project in the afternoon on Monday and wants it completed by Wednesday morning. You probably won’t even begin working on it until Tuesday because by the time you received it on Monday, that day was effectively over.
Their research seems to hold up this view of how deadlines fit (or don’t fit) into our predetermined sense of time. Their research showed that when people are given a fixed deadline that’s at an "unusual" time, and they start at an "unusual" time, they’re more likely to miss their deadline than folks who begin and end at more normal times.
Interesting stuff to keep in mind…