When efficiency is unproductive - 3 myths: Lazy for better performance?

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Efficiency is important in our working world, but if you look more closely, it does not make you as productive as you should actually think. For anyone who is firmly attached to his schedule and always only makes things worthwhile loses more life than he actually wins. Time to clean up with 3 myths.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Myth 1: Getting up early makes you particularly productive

When I tell people that I get up voluntarily in the morning at 6 a.m. or sometimes even earlier, without an alarm clock, I often get an “Oh how enviable”. This stems from the fact that people who get up before 6 a.m. are particularly productive.

As an outspoken morning person I can say: Of course you are early in the morning, when you have already done the most important thing before 9 clock all the calls start, especially productive. But for my part I am often tired at noon.

This is particularly disadvantageous when some customers want something from you in the late afternoon. It is not uncommon for you to involuntarily lay down a 12-14 hour day in this way. That is why I personally prefer to get up between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and start work - while the others are still driving to work, I'm usually already in the home office - at normal office hours. Then you can be reached during normal working hours, but you also don't work overtime. And because the trip to the office is no longer necessary, you can still sleep for a relatively long time.

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Myth 2: Cleaning up is particularly productive

Sure, working in a neat and tidy office works better. Nevertheless, order-keeping should not become an end in itself - the perfect system of order simply does not exist. Anyone who tries to do it will quickly get to the point where he realizes that he or she has gotten along better before. Also, please note: There are just different types, including the following extremes:

  • On the one hand, the chaotic. The chaotic do not clean up, keep no order - for example because it just does not matter to them. Or because they were not educated to order and consequently are not used to tidy up. Or because they just can not manage to keep order. For some people, there seems to be a loss of deliberate control over organizedness - that is pathological.
  • On the other side the pedants. Everything always neat, accurate, clean. In extreme cases, everything must be in order on the table. Sometimes such pedants have their own highly complicated order system. Often they annoy their environment with it and often have a Kontrollfimmel that extends not only to the order, but also to other areas of life. Also, pedantry the associated control addiction can be abnormal in extreme cases.

At first glance, both groups have little in common. And yet they are more similar to many than might think. Because if you look more closely, why some people are so chaotic and ask, you realize: Many chaotic people would like to have it also clean, tidy and controlled. But because they think they would not get it anyway or even fear of the mountain at work, let them be easy.

Therefore, I consider the golden mean between exaggerated orderliness and chaos ideal. Which helps me personally to keep order: to keep as few things as possible or to always throw away all that is not important. And the regular visit of a cleaner.

Myth 3: Summarizing tasks helps to save time

A tip that is gladly given in time management in order to be more efficient and productive: Simply summarize tasks. Sounds logical, saves time - and yet I say from my own experience that sometimes even leads to the opposite success.

As the? For example, if I have an appointment in the city center, I tend to do several things at once so I do not have to go there again. So I go to the post office, look at the bank, look at my shoes, and so on. Result: I hustled through the area, from the post office to the bank, from the bank to the shoe store. And the bad thing: Even on my appointment, I feel restless because I have all the other things in my mind that I still have to do. In the end, I get totally stressed home and have accordingly less desire, still productively something to work.

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But it can also be different: If I do not always summarize all the tasks, I also have less to remember or write down. So I'm in the accomplishment of the individual tasks relaxed and quiet, my appointment, for example, runs better. And best of all, it's even more fun for me. As a result, when I get home, I'm in a better mood and much more productive at work. But I have to drive through the area more often - but that is worth my relaxation.

Conclusion: It is not always more efficient to pack different tasks together - sometimes it makes sense to deliberately do something unplanned in order to maintain an important quality of life.

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