Postponed or not?
Imagine a really unpleasant task: to create the travel expense account, compile the log of the last project meeting, or read the 17-side status report for SAP implementation. And now the Gretchen question: postponed or not?
No matter what horror you were thinking, what do you think is better:
- a) To get things done quickly and to do them in one go
- b) to schedule a few small breaks?
Jobs that you love ...
And now, let's think of an opposite situation, an activity that you really like. Again, it does not matter what that is.
If you are a numbers person, you may be pleased to analyze Excel spreadsheets. If you're more of a creative type, you may enjoy creating slides.
Procastination or procrastination?
Anyway, what you think is more meaningful:
- c) To do the pleasant task without rest or
- d) deliberately doing something else?
In fact, the correct name is Prokrastinieren - from Latin cras - the morning. However, many readers also use the wrong name, so we want to accommodate you with the alternative spelling a little.
Why procrastinating is wrong: 3 reasons
But back to the real problem: if you are like most people knitted, then you have answered in the first question with b) and the second with c). But this is the wrong strategy! At least, if one believes the research results of Leif D. Nelson of the University of California and Tom Meyvis of New York University.
Nelson and Meyvis have found in their experiments that people suffer less if they do not interrupt an unpleasant experience. And they are more pleased with a pleasant experience when they intervene by a break.
1. Just do not take a break
Nelson and Meyvis have tested their thesis among others about negative experiences: vacuum cleaner noise, the hand dive into cold water, visit the dentist or queue. Among the positive experiences was a flight in the first class, listening to music or eating an ice cream.
The Quintessence of the scientists: If you take a break during an annoying task, then it is much harder to start again. And turned around is true: If you briefly break pleasurable, you enjoy the beautiful afterwards more intense.
2. Hedonistic adaptation
Nelson and Meyvis explain this phenomenon with the hedonistic adaptation. English: We adapt ourselves very quickly to a new situation and get used to it.
The first five minutes in the warm bathtub are still a highlight, the next five also quite nice, but quite soon we have got used to the comfortable feeling. If you just get out of the tub to get a cool beer, you will enjoy the re-immersion in the bubble bath more than someone who stays in it.
3. Avoid unpleasant better
The same applies to stupid tasks: If you interrupt them, then you enjoy the (short) moment, but must overcome new when it comes to the second part of the hated job.
So: Do unpleasant tasks in one go, instead of interrupting them (several times), and try to extend beautiful things by deliberate pauses!
3 tips for quick decision-making
And then it's time to get down to business decisions. When you choose one thing, you are usually spoiled for choice in choosing the best one. But which is the best one to solve your specific problem? For this I have put together three methods for quick decisions.
Decision-making aid 1: Prone decision
Actually, there are no rational decisions. Neurological and psychological research results show that people first make their decisions subconsciously, above all emotionally directed, meet and later rationalize.
It would therefore be pointless to try to decide purely rationally. Based on this insight, the recommendation - which is meant to be serious - is based solely on trusting one 's gut feeling. Especially for minor problems, it is often practicable to simply trust one's own emotions.
Decision support 2: CAF method
If you have further problems, you should not and should not just rely on your feelings. This is where the CAF method ("Consider all facts") helps, in which as many influencing factors as possible are used for a decision. The principle is banal: you list all the points that have something to do with your problem, such as:
- the cost or the price / performance ratio,
- the time required,
- the effect on customers or
- the acceptance by employees.
Which alternative is best suited?
You can then use this list to determine which of the alternative alternatives is best suited. The advantage of this method is that all decision-making factors can be seen at a glance, due to the written form.
When creating your criteria list, a factor should of course never be missing: the feasibility. After all, what is the best idea when it is difficult or difficult to implement it?
Decision-making support 3: Decision-making matrix
While the first two decision aids are comparatively quick to apply, the method of the decision matrix requires a little more effort. To do this, first compile all the criteria that are relevant to your decision - so use the CAF method.
What is important is that you formulate the individual factors positively, so the criterion for each criterion must be: the more of these, the better. Now evaluate each of your solution alternatives developed in the fourth step on the basis of the criteria.
Use a scale from 1 (very bad) to 10 (optimal). Then you only have to add the scores and you get the best solution.
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