It shouldn’t surprise me, but every year it does, just how many people leave booking tickets to EA Masters* till the last minute.
It’s not as if there’s an advantage to waiting – the tickets are never sold off more cheaply at the end – but every year, for two decades, there are people who get upset when they discover the event is sold out and say things like: “But, I intended to buy, I’ve just been so busy…”
This issue got me wondering if there’s been any research into “the deadline effect” and inevitably, there has been – quite a lot of it… indeed there’s a formula which I find fascinating, and has the potential to assist in getting people to be motivated earlier.
Piers Steel and Cornelius Konig, developed “Temporal Motivation Theory” (TMT) which focuses on time as a key factor in motivation.
They developed this equation:
Their definition is that ‘Expectancy’ is the probability of success and ‘Value’ is the size of the reward from the outcome.
‘Impulsiveness’ is the propensity someone has to procrastinate and ‘Delay’ is the time taken to complete the task.
Any increase in the top line, (Expectancy and Value), increases the likelihood for someone to be motivated, i.e. their belief in the likelihood of achievement and the value of achieving it.
By contrast, an increase in Impulsiveness or Delay will have a negative effect.
My sense is that all too often, leaders focus on the Value, and not nearly enough on the Expectancy.
In simple terms, the more time that’s taken to help people truly understand the task, and to help them to believe it’s achievable, (albeit with effort and proper application), the more likely they are to become motivated to do it.
Rather than focussing on how much something is worth, instead emphasise, over and over again, how achievable it is.
*At the time of writing, 82% of tickets to EA Masters are sold – if you procrastinate then you’ll miss out on the estate agency event of the year.
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