Friday, October 19, 2012
You’re not as productive as you think you are
You Don’t Work as Hard as You Say You Do
The study compared people’s estimates for how much time they spent working against a time diary they were asked to keep of all their activities. Whether because of faulty memories or a desire to sound more industrious (or some combination of the two), most respondents systematically overestimated how much time they spent at work.
The typical person who reported having worked 40 hours, for example, actually worked closer to 37. The report found that “The greater the estimate, the greater the overestimate”; people who said they worked 75 hours actually worked closer to 50 hours. (That’s an overestimate of 25 hours, or 50 percent!) At the other end of the spectrum, people who worked relatively few hours (under around 25) actually ended to underestimate their hours.
Simon Owens is an assistant managing editor at U.S. News & World Report. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org