What does ASAP 5

ASAP: Why IMMEDIATELY is not the best time

Actually you can ask yourself the question By when does this have to be done? save up. The answer is always: ASAP! So as soon as possible - or in German: as quickly as possible. Bosses don't want to wait, and neither do customers. Do tasks, solve problems? Preferably until yesterday - but zack-zack! Patience is a luxury that hardly anyone in the professional world wants to afford anymore. The abbreviation is even used to save even more time. Motto: If something is not done ASAP, you can save yourself it right away. But is that also wise? What is unfortunately often overlooked: The constant ASAP itself causes a lot of problems ...

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The abbreviation ASAP: definition and meaning

The abbreviation ASAP is a so-called acronym and can be found today in many e-mails, memos, but also in chat forums on the Internet. The term is made up of the first letter of the English expression "As soon as possible" together. Roughly translated, "asap" means nothing else in German than "as soon as possible"Or "As soon as possible".

Despite the trivial definition and translation - the meaning of the time is often different. When someone wants something "asap", they often mean: right away - now, better yesterday.

And that's exactly the problem: As quickly as possible is a supreme subjective assessment. How quickly is something actually possible? How long can the task or solution last? Contrary to what the term suggests, the decision is often not made by the person who takes on the task, but rather the person who expresses the demand “asap”.

Usually the boss or customer then expects everything else stand and left will allow you to focus your full attention - immediately - on this task. Everything else can, yes must, wait until this ToDo is done. Sometimes you only have minutes or hours for the result. Rarer days. Weeks - never!

Background: origin of the abbreviation

Nice background knowledge: The abbreviation "asap" comes from originally not from the business or manufacturing world. In contrast to abbreviations like “tldr” or “ftw”, neither from chat forums or the Internet in general. Rather, the origin of the acronym lies in US military. There is that there command “ASAP” - especially in aviation - has been around for much longer.

PS: The abbreviation has also found its way into the music world - for example through the rapper "A $ AP Rocky"Which recently hit the media following a lawsuit in Sweden, and his album" Long.Live.A $ AP ". Behind this abbreviation, however, is the name of a group of young people in the New York neighborhood called Harlem "Always Strive and Prosper".

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Why the ASAP mentality is so dangerous

Even if the abbreviation "asap" originally comes from English - the expression and the associated abbreviation have long been part of the German language common usage. Anyone who makes a spontaneous meeting and asks who has time at the moment, likes to get the answer: I'm there ASAP! Likewise, customer service often promises that you will contact yourself asap take care of the problem - which is mostly just a form of appeasement and a lie.

Especially this imprecise communication and the different perception or that individual understanding of the term ASAP however, are increasingly causing problems.

First of all, ASAP should express that something is particularly important no procrastination tolerates and should be treated with the utmost urgency. But that does not mean at the same time that a solution or a result can be expected immediately. But that is exactly what is expected.

We live in a time of Nowness: Almost everything has to be done today, now, immediately. No matter whether a presentation is to be created, an offer processed, a delivery checked, a text corrected, a customer called or a meeting planned. It always has to right now be. Time is money. Whoever wastes them risks a disadvantage.

In some companies this is a real one ASAP culture originated. It is, however, primarily driven by fear: the fear of falling behind; Fear of losing touch or suffering economic losses. Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore. Patience may be a virtue - but what takes too long is usually botch. A mega fail. At least.

The attitude is dangerous. Not just because it increases the pressure. In a hectic, fast-paced manner, those ideas and solutions that you only discover when you have the time to Pondering and thinking takes. Innovations usually arise far away from the desk. In idleness. And when you watch your own thoughts transfigure.

Right now? The ASAP culture creates these 5 problems

Sure, time constraints and limits increase productivity. We already know that from the so-called Parkinson's Law:

Work expands to the extent that there is time to do it (rather than how complex it actually is).

In other words, the more time we have for a task, the longer it will take us to do it. The requirement to do something ASAP is useful first of all and has the potential to minimize inefficiencies. Theoretically.

In practice, however, the ASAP culture often has a different effect and leads to significantly more and new problems:

  • ASAP creates more stress

    The most obvious impact of the Everything-Must-Be-Done-Right-Now Setting is the tremendous level of stress it creates. Employees only rush from one deadline to the next, while the individual task is at best dealt with superficially. Everything has to be finished today! Clear thinking or over-thinking becomes impossible. The result is not only more stress, but also mediocrity. Last but not least, this form of intensification of work can lead to severe stress and even mental illness in the workforce.

  • ASAP worsens results

    In the point above it has already been mentioned: If something needs to be done urgently, that does not necessarily mean that it will be done well. Fast results are sometimes not the better, on the contrary. Those who ask “asap” automatically risk more superficiality, more errors, less care and quality - and possibly just that first one, but not best Solution. Some tasks just take time. And some thoughts have to mature before the perfect solution is revealed.

  • ASAP makes work inefficient

    Do you want to be particularly efficient as quickly as possible? In daily implementation, the effect is exactly the opposite: If the boss wants a task to be processed ASAP, the current activity must be interrupted. No matter how focused, productive and effective you are right now. Suddenly a new ToDo has priority. You have to interrupt your flow, first familiarize yourself with the new topic and continue working on it.

    In many cases it would be more efficient to complete the current task first. However, with the waiting boss in the neck, ASAP does not allow this.

  • ASAP prevents priorities

    That sounds contradicting at first - after all, the ASAP requirement sets a clear priority: The. Here. Now. Right away! What is meant is: asap shifts the priorities and often prevents the "right" ones.

    You are probably familiar with the Eisenhower matrix - a simple method from time management or self-management that is all about setting priorities. The exaggerated mostly arbitrary use of the asap makes an effective prioritization almost impossible. Applied too often, all tasks are treated equally (urgently) - which of course takes the original idea ad absurdum.

  • ASAP causes chaos

    This point is also closely related to the previous one. An example: A project is going according to plan, the tasks are optimally distributed in the team, everyone contributes to success. An optimal process and ideal state - which is immediately destroyed by ASAP tasks. If other tasks have to be brought forward spontaneously and others postponed, this not only upsets the plan - chaos, bottlenecks and missed deadlines are usually the result. Oh, and very often a lot, lots of overtime, with which the employees have to make up for everything.

Please don't get us wrong: this is not an appeal to stroll, nor is it a plea for laziness. However, pressure and creativity, as well as stress and quality, are often mutually exclusive. So understandable the desire for Instant solutions also is - we are more likely to get further if we remember an old proverb: Good things take time.

When does ASAP really make sense?

With all these disadvantages and problems, the question: Shouldn't ASAP be completely dispensed with in the job? No, because there can actually be situations and good reasons to schedule a task to be processed and completed as quickly as possible.

For example, ASAP can be very useful when it comes to the urgent bug fixing goes. If a large and important project is about to be completed, the priority is to correct the last mistakes before handing it over to the customer. Here other tasks should initially be put on the back burner.

The same applies if important Parts of the operation disturbed are. If the homepage of an online service can no longer be reached, it should be dealt with immediately - regardless of whether the technicians have previously worked on something else.

ASAP itself is not the problem. That makes it difficult incorrect use. Managers (and employees) should weigh up the benefits and the additional costs involved. Unfortunately, the mentality is different and so almost everything is challenged as quickly as possible.

This is how you can escape the ASAP culture

In professional life it is difficult to deal with To withdraw ASAP thoughts completely. Bosses and customers try to set a fast pace - despite the problems mentioned above and regardless of whether it can be implemented at all for employees. So it is up to you to deal with the situation and the resulting pressure in the best possible way.

It starts with the right attitude and also taking responsibility for the fact that you do not want to and cannot follow the ASAP culture at any price. As long as you have it let yourself be done without comment, your boss will hardly see any reason to settle for a deadline other than the shortest possible.

In order to escape the eternal race against time and not rush from one ASAP appointment to the next, we have three tipsthat can help you use the ubiquitous abbreviation:

  • Communicate the time you need

    If your boss - or someone else - says again that something has to be done ASAP, you should react immediately and explain how long it will take you to complete the task. You don't have to do this in an unfriendly tone, just stay factual and explain the situation: I understand that time does matter, but it will take at least three hours to process this.

    You can also refer to the quality that should be maintained to add weight to your argument. Then it is up to your counterpart whether he wants to be satisfied with a poorer performance - for which he can then no longer blame you.

  • Only do what is really possible

    The abbreviation stands for as soon as possible, whereby you should learn to take the second part of the abbreviation literally again: as possible - Some possibilities just take their time. Do not allow yourself to be pushed into completely unrealistic time expectations that you will not be able to meet under any circumstances.

    That only creates avoidable stress. If a customer wants a complete overhaul of a project within 30 minutes, sometimes only the truth helps, even if it is uncomfortable. However, setting limits also has an educational effect, because next time the same customer will hopefully arrive at you with a realistic time frame from the start.

  • Lead by example

    It can often help if you take the first step yourself and end the ASAP cycle on your part. Do not request information immediately, but allow more time to process your inquiries. Don't make an appointment for 10:30 a.m. at 10 a.m., ask when it is best for your counterpart.

    This also helps you to get rid of the ASAP mentality yourself and to recognize that there are very few things that absolutely cannot be postponed and actually have to be done immediately.

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