Have you ever attended a time management course, walked away and thought ‘yes, as of tomorrow I am going to work more efficiently, stick to my core hours BUT get more done?’
Then the very next day you arrive promptly, grab your coffee and spend the next 10 minutes catching up with your colleagues and telling them all about the great course you went on yesterday….
So why is it when there is a holiday weekend (just like tomorrow) we are miraculously able to get all our work done in a shorter week?
Is this our culture, do we all perform better under tight timescales? Can we learn from other cultures?
Top of the Productivity list
Inc.com investigates the correlation between the number of hours worked per week and the nations GDP. It is well publicised that consistently working more than 40 hours per week can be detrimental to your health but it also impacts your productivity. The top nations for productivity all work less than 40 hours per week on average with Germany topping the productivity chart working a 35 hour week on average.
Why are they so productive?
An article on knote.com looks into the culture of a German workplace. Germans on average work 35 hours per week and have an average of 24 days paid holiday a year, so how are they so productive?
Their business culture is the simple answer. When they are at work they give 100% to their job. They don’t have a chat at the coffee machine, check their social media notifications or gossip with the person sitting next to them.
They not only work less hours per week and benefit from better holiday entitlement they also maintain better and more active social lives.
They believe in keeping work and personal lives separate, maintaining off hours as off hours.
The German government are even contemplating a ban on work emails after 6pm to counter the accessibility smartphones have enabled.
Tips to be more productive
A few small changes can help you to be more productive
Cut your work day short – adding a time limit puts pressure on to get the task complete, it forces you to be efficient.
Stop multi-tasking – Switching from one task to another can actually cause you stress, focus on one task at a time.
Race the clock – Competition is a great motivator, setting a timer even if just for 10 minutes can boost productivity.
Write it down – Trying to remember everything is exhausting, keep notes and a to-do list leaving your brain to focus on what you need to do now.
Workout before work – You can think better for 2 hours after aerobic exercise, so working out before you get to the office can get you off to a very productive start.
So why not try these top tips and see if you can start to achieve more by working less hours after all it works in other cultures.