"No one is interested in how hard you work '

At the end of a hard day you are seated on a sofa (or behind the bar) with a certain complacency: you are "plowed" as many hours put so much effort ... But no one cares, says the writer Oliver Burkeman.

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Forgive me if you spoil the mood of a martini glass, but the truth is that all we confuse efforts invested with the results actually achieved - for people of creative professions is facing a waste of time and energy on maloosmyslennuyu activities instead of really important work. Psychologists have long noted the existence of some "labor illusion" when we assess the work of other people, in words we usually important only speed and the final result, but subconsciously we also important to see that they have put into the work of a lot of effort.

Economist Dan Ariely, who studies the behavior, telling the story of a mechanic, which was getting smaller tips and more complaints as his ability to grow. Because he do the job faster and faster, customers seemed that he bungles, though, objectively speaking, for a locksmith high-speed performance is a useful quality.

In 2011, researchers from the Harvard Business School, Ryan Buell and Michael Norton conducted a study and found that users of the site to search for tickets actually even prefer to wait for the search results for longer - on the condition that they demonstrate the progress of the search process and they could see that search engine "working hard", fingering database each airline. This is not just entertaining features of consumer behavior - similar to the standards we apply to ourselves. You can call this phenomenon "the illusion of effort" - is very easy to believe that the 10-hour working day spent for analysis of accumulated mail is more valuable than two hours of intense mental work with full concentration.

Meanwhile, any writer, designer or web developer will tell you that it was the two hours of hard work yield maximum results - and in financial terms, and in the creative. In the book, Mason Karreya "daily rituals" the author has collected information about which mode used to working people of creative professions. It turns out that almost none of them are directly involved in creative activity more than 4-5 hours a day.

Productivity does not have to be spent. On the contrary, a few hours of immersion into it often just add strength and energy. If you measure the effectiveness of its work on the degree of fatigue, the risk greatly mistaken.

In many companies, employees creates a strong impression that the best way to get a raise - make a big effort, measured in hours of work. In fact, if you are able to brilliantly perform their duties and at the same time to leave work at three o'clock in the afternoon, a good boss must be pleased with you. For the same reason, asking for an increase, it makes no sense to you to remind of their zeal, if the boss appreciates only the results.

In the limited time usually the most important tasks themselves come to the fore

are often advised early in the day to first understand the most important things. This is reasonable, because even if then you dive into a routine, you will not spend her hours when you are full of energy. If your job allows, conduct an experiment: try to drastically reduce their working hours. In the limited time usually the most important tasks themselves come to the fore. You can take advantage of special programs, which will remind you that it is time to switch to during the day.

But most importantly, remember that painting the whole day by the minute, and working to exhaustion, you do not have to spend their time productively. This idea can be expressed more optimistic: it is possible for the creative realization, you will need a lot less effort than you might think. "

About the Author

Oliver Burkeman - journalist, writer, author of "The Antidote. An antidote to the unhappy life "(Eksmo 2012).