Changing perception about deadlines could help in achieving goals better
A new study claims that changing the way you think about deadlines, could help in reaching the goals better.
Authors Yanping Tu from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Dilip Soman from the University of Toronto, explained that the research shows that the way consumers think about the future influences if they get started on tasks. In particular, if the deadline for a task was categorized as being similar to the present, they were more likely to initiate the task.
In one study, consumers were given an opportunity to open a savings account and told they would receive an incentive if they opened the account within the next six months. One group of consumers was approached in June and given a deadline in December of the same year. The second group was approached in July and given a deadline in January of the next year. Even though both groups had the same amount of time to open the account, more consumers chose to open their account immediately if their deadline was in December of the same year.
This occurred because consumers used the end of the calendar year to categorize the deadlines. Consumers think of a December deadline as being in the same category as the present while a January deadline is not. Since consumers tend to treat tasks in the present with a view to getting them done, a task with a deadline this year is treated with more urgency and the task is started sooner.
The research helps us understand how consumers perceive time and offers important considerations for consumers, as well as researchers studying goal pursuit and companies that provide help to consumers in getting things done.
The authors concluded that when thinking of a deadline as being in the same category as the present, consumers were more likely to start working toward their goals sooner.
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
(Posted on 27-08-2014)