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Learn language: 13 effective tips to learn a new language

Learning a language: Anyone who is able to converse in the respective national language in London, Paris, Shanghai, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Berlin is a true language talent . For many who try to get through school English while traveling, this seems impossible. In most cases, just before the start of the trip, one or the other sentence is rehearsed quickly, which may make the order in the restaurant succeed, but a real conversation in another language is still far away. Many people secretly desire to learn another language, But often it remains the desire, because only very few are active. Here, skilled workers with foreign language skills in a global labor market are more in demand than ever. We show you 13 effective tips on how to learn a new language ...

Learn language for the career
Many job advertisements require language skills today . Whether French, Spanish, Russian or, increasingly, Chinese - every company is looking for new employees who have at least one other foreign lang…

Productivity: Do not work more than 50 hours!

Unfortunately, the productive day's work often stalks burning on soft feet. We live in a time of supposedly high productivity but low efficiency ; a lot of action without satisfaction . Virtual work, permeability, work-life-blending- All this robs people of strength and time. For years, more and more new studies have been certifying the workforce increasing workload, congestion and increasing stress. But what do people do to combat rising demands and overtime? Right, they work even more, even more pure, to somehow make ends meet. Big mistake! That has nothing to do with productivity. What productivity is, what the problems are and how you can increase your productivity ...

Definition: What is productivity?
Productivity Definition Explanations Economic Efficiency SynonymsFrom a purely economic point of view, productivity is nothing more than the relationship between expenditure and revenue. Or put on a short formula: productivity = result (output) - input (input) .

For example, under Output, you could define:

How many tasks can be done in a given time?
Which quantities are produced?
Accordingly, a worker would be all the more productive, the lower the workload for a task to be done. However, to increase the output, there are two possibilities in this scenario:

Either you develop a new technology that makes it possible to produce or work faster, which is increasingly difficult in practice.
Or you increase the time spent .
Of course that is greatly simplified. Because when it comes to the question of how to increase productivity , it gets complicated. Especially in the use of funds, such as one's own work performance. More of that does not necessarily mean more productivity - and vice versa.

In other words: Everyone knows what productivity is, but how it can be increased (especially among employees), remains vague. This is also shown by the numerous synonyms for productivity, which are repeatedly mentioned:


By the last four synonyms at the latest, it becomes clear that productivity does not necessarily have to be just physical work. For example, one could put forward the thesis: Being productive means ...

to grow as a person.
to enjoy fellowship with others.
to be proud of what you have achieved.
thankful for his talents.
to look forward to new challenges.
to help other people.
To get recognition.
The whole thing is not accidentally reminiscent of the Yiddish metaphor of the so-called aerial people :

Air people are people who invest in "air" - not tangible: they focus on ideas, thoughts, dreams. At first it sounds a little pejorative to be called Luftmensch. But air people know something the rest often does not know: most of the seemingly useless things we do are often the most important ones. So the things that seem to serve no purpose and that we only do because they are fun for us and others. It's the things that make us human - authentic people.

A thought-provoking concept that at the same time reminds us that productive work for productivity's sake alone does not make us happy. And probably not productive in the long run.

Productivity is not a constant
Increasing your own productivity - that is what many want. Correspondingly, countless guides have long since described how to learn to work more productively. Most of them deal with what you should do (more or better). Certainly not completely wrong. Because, of course, there are some important prerequisites for productive work :

They like to do their job
How should you work productively when the work is not fun at all and you have to overcome every new task? Just. The first basic requirement for productive work is the enjoyment of your own activity.

You do not overdo it
Incorrectly, productivity is often equated with uninterrupted work. True to the motto: Much helps a lot. If you are constantly exaggerating and not taking time off, it has nothing to do with productivity, but self-exploitation. See also Yerkes-Dodson curve . Ethan Winning comes to the conclusion that the error rate after eight hours of work increases by ten percent, after a 10-hour day, it rises by 28 percent.

You keep track
You can work a lot without really doing anything. Everything is confused, no goal, no clear ideas. The hours go by, you work and work, but at the end of the day the to-do list is still full. To be productive, you need to keep track of what you're doing and not simply work blindly.

However, it should also be clear that productivity is not a constant.

In an industrial company, perhaps the day's target can be planned and produced. Apart from accidents at work or material defects, it is foreseeable that the quantity Y of products will be ready for the next day in X hours of machine running time. For modern knowledge work, however, it is impossible to predict that tomorrow, for example, a brilliant idea will save you and your team weeks of work.

Do not shovel or run faster with faster thinking or typing. In the industrial sector, the formula "work harder = create more" may still be valid, but here, too, more and more careless mistakes happen . For knowledge workers, one thing is even more valid: creativity, good planning or clear thinking can not be forced - the opposite will be the result.


Take the pressure off of yourself and the staff. Less pressure means more productivity.
Distribute the work only to 80 percent of the time available. This creates buffer and space for creativity .
If it feels like work, you are doing something wrong. Nothing increases productivity more than satisfaction with one's own work.
Productivity killer working time: presence reduces productivity
But almost always forget what you should NOT do . This often hides the biggest productivity killers and opportunities to be more productive.

For example, think about overtime .

An OECD study on the correlation of working hours and output published in the Economist provided remarkable results. The curve was by no means linear, on the contrary: From a scope of 50 weekly hours , the productivity of the subjects dropped rapidly. Anything that went beyond 56 hours, the researchers even described as a waste of time .

Working time productivity OECD study graph
This is also in line with an older study by Durham Business School and consulting firm JBA. The researchers distinguished two groups of employees in knowledge-intensive sectors: some came to the office five days a week as usual, the others had flexible working hours and places and were even allowed to work one or more days a week from any location.

Result: As soon as someone was able to independently distribute and organize their work, their productivity increased. For example, with increasing compulsory attendance and attachment to the office, the willingness to miss three or more days a year, or to go blue, also increased. Or to put it bluntly: who needs to be there more often, is more often absent.

Even in our own reader survey, nearly 40 percent admitted they were productive for a maximum of five to six hours a day. Another good third (34 percent) confessed to work productively only three to four hours . The rest is pure absorption of time.

Man is not a machine. And even they do not like to rotate only at full throttle. Therefore, time-out intervals (vulgo: breaks ) are enormously important for body, psyche - and also for productivity.

Where is it also written that you always and everywhere reachable, always responsive and above all always must be busy ?

After all, such a behavior could also point to a narcissistic disorder : those who believe that the economy, or even just the spreadsheet, collapses as soon as they pause for a moment, are probably far too important.

Increase productivity? Please let that be
Increase productivity?  Please let that beBut that is not just a plea for working less than a maximum of 50 hours per week. It's also about doing other things as well, or letting them go as far as possible, because you're in the way of our productivity in the long run. These include about ...

Stop useless meetings!
Above all, meetings can mutate into enormous time-wasters and thus productivity killers. Not infrequently, the gatherings advance to marketplaces of vanities. The participants appear unprepared, do not know what is on the agenda or what exactly they should work on right now and are therefore constantly drifting away. That bores, annoys, frustrates. What's more, managers and employees spend their time on average in seven meetings a week, in which seven people attend. One fifth of these office hours last longer than five hours. For some, statistically, they spend around 19 hours a week in meetings. Whether these were all necessary for all participants, however, may be doubted.

Stop the yes-saga!
A YES is easier for most colleagues than a NO . Nobody would like to be the bogeyman, even if their own tasks are already piling up. Although your colleagues and your boss are happy, because now the work has been passed on to you. But you face the problem of creating additional tasks and your own workload. That is why denial is one of the most important skills you should acquire in your job. Tips on how to set limits can be found here .

End with the small stuff!
Put on automation. Too often one sticks to everyday work with small stuff, such as formatting or emails. Try to automate processes wherever possible. This will speed up your work process. For example, work with reports and concepts templates and tools that can help you complete tasks. E-mails are generally among the biggest productivity killers. Every day we fight with an incredible amount of news. If you are not careful, you run the risk that your whole working time will be eaten up by it. Especially if you check your inbox every five minutes.

Stop the loner!
As a rule, large tasks can not be accomplished alone. But many workers are afraid to give up responsibility. Unfortunately, you run the risk of overstraining yourself. Anyone who brings colleagues on board and also introduces new employees will be surprised by how great the workload is. Delegate tasks that one of your team members can do with free capacity. This will give you time to focus on your core tasks and the really important points of your to-do list .

Stop perfectionism!
Of course, every employee has the right to do his job to the best of his knowledge and belief. But not a few fall into a harmful perfectionism, This attention to detail costs a lot of time. Time that you could already put into other tasks. You also lose sight of the big picture. Instead, practice selective perfectionism: think about which tasks are worth perfectionism. Is it worthwhile spending several hours for the slides of a customer presentation? In any case. Is it worthwhile, however, to sacrifice several hours for an internal interim report? Probably not, because here are mostly the results and not the layout in the foreground. This will save you a lot of effort. See also: Pareto principle .

30 tips for more productivity
Productivity tips fill entire books. So that you are not busy with weeks of reading, but can quickly get started with the implementation, we have put together the best and proven tips for more productivity for you.

The rule is: you do not have to implement everything immediately. Pick out the suggestions and ideas that work best for you. Try different techniques and compare the results. How to increase your productivity step by step!

Set clear priorities
It is the absolute classic to increase productivity: those who set clear priorities and keep them , creates more and improves the results. Only then can you become a man or woman over the countless tasks that are to be done every day. If you can not do that, your fingers are sore, but they are anything but productive. Therefore, set up a system to set priorities, after which you can tackle tasks in the appropriate order.

Create todo lists
The ToDo list is also very popular for increasing productivity. Write down all the things you still need to do - it does not necessarily have to be just a job, it can also be extended to the private sector. So you always have the overview and, together with the priorities mentioned above, can productively work through the list of open tasks.

Plan working days and weeks ahead
Lack of planning and nasty surprises can upset productivity. That's why you should create a plan for your workdays or for the entire week. What needs to be done? What do you have to think about? Which conditions must be met? Who is involved? Having a detailed daily schedule will help you to better structure and organize, improving your productivity.

Write down your ideas
There are two good reasons to write down your ideas: First of all, many things are forgotten because we are dedicated to other things. Suddenly, the good idea is gone and you just do not remember what you wanted to do. Writing down prevents this loss of valuable thoughts. On the other hand, thoughts that are paced in the back of the head can hurt productivity because you are not completely in the thing. If you put your thoughts to paper, you can deal with it in good conscience later and now have your head free for the current essay.

Use the time boxing
The Timeboxing dates back to the time management and will help to structure tasks better and increase productivity. Behind this is a simple concept: Instead of simply starting work, set a time window, the so-called Timebox, for your tasks. You then stick to them as precisely as possible to avoid wasting time. In this way, you can balance time and tasks and work productively.

Stick to the 2-minute rule
Many workers feel that the list of tasks becomes longer rather than shorter with the day. This is also because every little thing is lined up behind. A mistake! It's better if you stick to the 2-minute rule. This states that a task that can accomplish in less than two minutes should be done immediately. So small tasks do not even accumulate, but give you the good feeling that you have already achieved something - which increases productivity again.

Prevent procrastination
Perhaps the worst enemy of productivity is procrastination . Tasks are deferred, everything should be done later and getting started is increasingly difficult. Tell slaveritis to fight and train yourself to get started right now. It can help break big challenges into smaller tasks. Success experiences come faster and it is easier for you to get started instead of deferring.

Stop the multitasking
A common misconception is that multitasking is productive. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Doing ten things at the same time does not make it right, takes much longer, makes mistakes and hinders one's own productivity. Opt rather for the so-called singletasking . The motto: tackle one task after the other.

Adapt to your daily routine
When do you work best and are you particularly productive? The answer to this can be different for each employee. Some start very motivated in the early morning and do a lot, others get better during the day and have their peak in the afternoon. If you know your chronobiology , you can use it for your work day and gear it to your productivity.

Bring variety into the work
The same desk, the same walls, the same pictures. Day in, day out always the same environment. So much monotony hurts productivity. Add variety to your job and bring new productivity to your workday with a change of scenery. You do not have to renovate the office right away. Work out in the summer, use mobile work in a café or at least change your desk.

Turn off distractions
Lots of productivity is lost because we are distracted - and like to be distracted. Have a chat with your colleague, take a quick look through Facebook and Instagram and it'll be an hour. Therefore: Stop distractions . When you're at a task, you're avoiding distractions - and that's literally meant. Turn mute notifications off, put the phone on the answering machine and, if necessary, block access to social media pages for one hour if it helps you to be more productive.

Work in the flow
As a flow of state is called, in which an employee brings the best results materialize. This is achieved in the zone between over- and under-demand. Meaning, you should neither bore your tasks nor face unsolvable challenges. If you are challenged and need to make an effort, but get great results, if you make an effort and grow a little bit beyond yourself, the productivity is greatest.

Leave your comfort zone
Nobody said it would always be easy to increase your own productivity. Unfortunately, it is often the opposite. Better and more productive ways of working are usually outside the comfort zone . Dare to leave them, try new things and challenge yourself.

Get more exercise
Sitting in front of the screen for eight, nine or ten hours a day is not a suitable way to be productive. Instead, get your body moving and incorporate more exercise in your daily work routine. This can be achieved by a height-adjustable table that allows you to work standing up or by taking a walk in the breaks. This ensures better blood circulation, more creative thoughts, a better mood and promotes not only productivity but also health.

Remember the 10,000-hour rule
The 10,000-hour rule says it takes just that time to master a new skill and be really good at it. So ask yourself: Are you ready to invest this time? Or are you just wasting your precious time because you will not feel like it in the near future?

Learn to love your job
Productivity and job satisfaction are closely linked. Anyone who is annoyed every day, has no desire to work and has to torment to work will be productive with no hint. Your work should be fun - if you love your job, productivity comes almost by itself.

Make sure you have enough sleep
Those who do not sleep enough will suffer from declining productivity. It lacks the concentration, you make more mistakes, your mood sinks into the basement and if the lack of sleep is too big, you are in the job hardly to use. Therefore, make sure to get enough sleep and rest at night.

Do not waste time
Every day, a lot of time is lost, which you can use much better. They wait idly for the train, get stuck in the queue or stand in line for 15 minutes. These periods need not be a waste of time , but can be used productively. Write an e-mail, read a book on training or listen to interesting podcasts.

Use the home office
Granted, the Home Office is not for everyone. When self-management and discipline are lacking, little is done at home. However, many can significantly increase productivity within their own four walls - also because they can allocate time more freely and are happier with the work situation.

Stay flexible
In your quest for more productivity you should not be too tight. In addition to specifications, structures and framework conditions, you should always maintain the necessary flexibility to react to changes and unforeseen circumstances .

Take care of open problems
Do you have stress with a colleague? You still need to clarify a private problem? At first glance, these things do not seem to have anything to do with productivity, but such open issues take up much of your mental energy. It's always buzzing in the back of your mind and your thoughts are spinning in circles. Once you have dealt with such open issues, it will have a positive impact on your productivity.

Openly announce your goals
Goals are important to your productivity anyway. For maximum benefit, you should not just set it up for yourself, but share it with friends and colleagues. This creates a greater liability. They feel more committed and motivated.

Do the worst first
Unpleasant tasks are happily postponed. Who wants to deal with the worst todo when many more pleasant tasks are waiting? That's exactly the wrong approach. A rule for more productivity is Eat the frog . Those who do unpleasant tasks first thing in the morning are much more productive for the rest of the day, because they already have the worst behind them and everything else is easier to do away with.

Listen to music
Music has a big influence on the emotions. It can raise or lower the mood - and also affect productivity. If the tasks allow it, not necessarily during phone calls or in meetings, you should therefore listen to background music.

Stick to given times
Employees are extremely close to deadlines . The longer this is, the longer it takes to complete a task. Means for you: Set time limits to increase your productivity. If you decide to do it by the end of the week, you'll be ready - what would happen if you set a deadline by Wednesday? Exactly, you're done two days earlier.

Stay realistic
Despite this deadline effect, you must continue to be realistic. An extensive project can not be done in a day simply because you set a 24 hour deadline. Lack of realism does the exact opposite and makes you no longer productive because you can not live up to expectations.

Overcome bad habits
You have always done something like this? That does not necessarily make it the best way to get things done. In many cases, productivity can be increased by questioning, changing and improving processes and procedures. It is necessary to overcome habits and build new ones.

Learn to delegate
No, it is not productive if you want to do any task yourself. Maybe a colleague is much more competent or you simply have no capacity left while another employee could take care of it. Only when you successfully delegate , you can work more productively.

Connect similar tasks
Spread over the day often similar tasks. They write an e-mail, do something different, write another e-mail, do one more task and then return to writing an e-mail - completely unproductive. More productivity promises when you combine similar tasks. Instead of pushing other tasks in between, in the example you should first write and send all e-mails before tackling the next ToDos.

Master all required devices and programs
Whether it is software or tools: Who wants to work productively, must master all the equipment that he needs in the daily work. This saves a tremendous amount of time in which you do not have to search for the right option in the menu. Take the time to learn your tools inside out to master all the functions in no time at all.

The entire list of tips we have for you once again as a free PDF for download. So you can save them and recall at any time again.

6 more bizarre but effective productivity tips
Productivity Tips Calculate boost formulaA first bizarre but efficient way to improve your performance is to find someone who is productive - and then you think you're the same. Sounds stupid, but has a background. The results include studies by the psychologist Jochim Hansen from the University of Basel.

It's like the so-called Rajkov effect . Vladimir Rajkov discovered the method of "borrowed genius": he put his subjects in a state of deep hypnosis and suggested that they were a prominent figure in the story. Promptly, in this state, they were able to approximate their skills.

However, if this seems too crazy for you, there are a few other, unusual but effective ways to get more out of the workday:

Stand-up meetings
You already know Parkinson's Law . It goes back to the British historian and publicist Cyril Northcote Parkinson. After that, work expands to the extent that time is available for its completion - and not how much time it actually takes.

Parkinson law curve graph
This is even more true for meetings: we like to make full use of the framework - but not always for the best. So save better than lab time - and set tighter deadlines for such sessions. Even better: hold the first meeting in the morning while standing. This shortens this by itself.

And indeed, yourself. For example, a fantastic study by Columbia University shows that it is enough to imagine being closer to its goal - even if this progress is a single illusion. In science this is also known as Goal Gradient Effect . The behavioral scientist Clark Hull discovered it as early as 1932. And whether consciously or not, many take advantage of him: bosses, for example, by setting shorter deadlines for their employees and thus spurring them on.

In solving one of our problems, there is often something in the way: immediate emotional proximity. Perhaps you know the situation that you are giving good advice to a friend that seems absolutely obvious to you and is the only logical possibility. Nevertheless, your friend did not come up with it himself. Again, the so-called psychological distance is missing. If we are too close to a problem - or even a task - it is difficult to think clearly and develop creative solutions. On the other hand, create psychological distance, think and decide more objectively.

set theory
The tip comes from General Electric CMO Beth Comstock. For them, the typical pie charts with overlapping intersections are THE key to more productivity. That's why she likes to draw them in the morning, and in that he makes his day off in three circles filled with a) the things she loves; b) the things she hates and c) the things she has to do. The trick is, above all, to take care of the intersection of things to do and love, and to make the rest tastier or try to delegate as much as possible. Graphically, the result could look like this:

Increase productivity: Delegate task
Granted, the chart has weaknesses, but it's ultimately just a simplified Eisenhower matrix, and perhaps more intuitive.

Daydreams have a relatively bad reputation. Supervisors feel that their employees are sitting idle, staring at holes in the air. But daydreams are incredibly important phases, especially for your creativity. Although your thoughts are completely different, your brain continues to work on problems, proposed solutions and alternatives. It's no coincidence that the best ideas usually come when you do not expect them. Daydreams give your brain the opportunity to digress and make connections that you may not consciously come up with. So instead of feeling bad, you should consciously wander your mind and increase your creativity.

Everyone likes to receive a reward for their work. Employees like to think of their salary, but actually this is not a reward in the strict sense, but a consideration for their work. Real rewards that you can do yourself include visiting your favorite restaurant, a new outfit, or even just a laid back bath that has not had much time lately. Performing these small rewards on a regular basis will also give you greater motivation in future tasks, get things done faster, and be more productive in completing a project.

Be more productive - with these workplace tricks
The design of the workplace and the desk can also have a major impact on our productivity in the job.

Productivity Increase Desk Infographic Tips
Accordingly, we have some tips on what you can change or optimize there:

Influence light and reflections
The direction lighting is indispensable for productive work. Those who do not get enough daylight in the workplace quickly become impotent and less productive. Here, however, more is not necessarily better. Since you probably work with a computer, you should avoid possible reflections and disturbing light incidence from the outset by the correct positioning. It also does not hurt if you occasionally go to the window and connect short pauses with sunlight showers.

Ergonomically sit and work
Sitting is now considered by some scientists and physicians as one of the major causes of postural problems, overweight and other health problems. However, sitting is not the problem in itself: too long and ergonomically incorrect sitting causes massive problems over time. Therefore, pay attention to the appropriate working height, the positioning of your monitor and a comfortable, ergonomically adapted chair.

Use plants
As the saying goes: Mother Nature replaces every wellness weekend. While you can not relocate any work outside, with some plants , you can massively increase the indoor climate and so your well-being. Important: Clarify in advance which plants are allowed and if your colleagues have allergies to certain plants. If this is not the case, some herbal colleagues can increase their productivity significantly.

Creating order and system
Even if many people do not want to admit it, outside chaos can become a real stressor and massively affect your productivity. The consequence: Create a system with which you can keep an eye on all files and processes and keep them in order. This not only concerns files, but also optical chaos, such as unordered cables and the like. If you ensure visible order here - and structure mountains of files - you will not only feel better, you will also work more relaxed.

Use colors selectively
The psychology of colors is often underestimated. Of course, you can not - as a rule - delete your office at your discretion. But already color matching pictures, a corresponding desk pad or similar elements can trigger the desired effect.

Quiz: How productive is your team?
Quiz: How productive is your team?Many companies view teamwork as a miracle weapon to increase productivity and quality of work. It is not without reason that teamwork is found in almost every job.

However, teamwork does not always work out as employers would expect. Selfishness, hypertension or poor communication - many problems need to be overcome in order to work effectively in a team. How does that look for you? Does your team work productively?

We have prepared ten questions for you for this productivity test. Remember which letters you have chosen most often. At the end of the questionnaire you will find the resolution:

Question 1: What is the main focus of your teamwork on your colleagues?
We all want to achieve the common goal. (C)
I can not really say that. We have many construction sites. (B)
Everyone does his thing. (A)
Question 2: Why do you work together on specific projects?
Because our boss has forced us to form a team for it. (A)
Working in a team is always better than being alone or? (B)
Because we think it will improve the bottom line. (C)
3. Question: Which motto fits your team best?
Tomorrow is also a day. (B)
All for one and one for all. (C)
I am not here to make friends, but to make a career. (A)
Question 4: Who does the work?
Everyone has a job for which he is responsible. (A)
We appreciate the collaborative work, we coordinate internally and support each other. (C)
Two or three team members have taken the helm. The rest looks passively. (B)
5. Question: How are the decision processes going?
We discuss the options available, but the team leader has the last word. (C)
Often there are conflicts and disputes in decisions, because no one wants to deviate from his point of view. (A)
The one says that, the other that. There is not really anyone who has the scepter in his hand. (B)
6. Question: What is the working atmosphere of teamwork?
Everyone tries to outmaneuver the other one. (A)
We all pull together. (C)
Mostly everything goes haywire. (B)
Question 7: How do discussions usually go?
Discussions? Actually we are always in agreement. (C)
We discuss each aspect in great detail and often get lost in details. (B)
We have heated discussions because everyone has a different opinion. (A)
8th Question: A project must be made quickly, because the deadline is closer. How does the communication work?
We get together regularly and plan the next steps and inform ourselves about the developments. Now it's about supporting each other where it's burning. (C)
It breaks up chaos and several round mails with various information are sent around. (B)
We'll talk for a moment, after which everyone dedicates himself to his task. (A)
9. Question: How motivated do you rate your team?
At the beginning, everyone is fully motivated, but that quickly subside when the project is slow. (B)
We are in full swing with the matter. The work is fun. (C)
Most are less excited about working together in a team. (A)
10. Question: How satisfied are you with the result?
Less satisfied, I would like to have made a bigger contribution. (A)
Often I think we could have delivered better results. Nevertheless, I am glad that despite the difficulties we have gotten it done. (B)
Mostly I am proud of what we have done. (C)


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