German efficiency is a real thing.

german efficiency punctuality and respect

Even though I’m always learning new ways of doing things and can sometimes be all over the place, I’d say I’m a good representation of German efficiency.

I don’t believe it’s something people have in their genes, but in Germany efficiency is taught from an early age and across all areas of life.

And don’t get me wrong, not every German is efficient just like not every German likes drinking beer or wears Lederhosen. Burst your bubble? LOL!

Efficiency is something that can be learned.

It is, like most things, a system and a process that you need to develop in order to make the most out of something or someone including yourself.

We often underestimate how many ways we’re already creating processes and systems in our lives daily without even realising it.

We sometimes call them habits, e.g. when making tea or coffee.

We’ve worked out the best way to make our coffee because it tastes the best and how we like it so we repeat the process.

Or exercise in combination with a diet that gives us the exact results we are looking for with the least input to be most efficient.

Look at ways to create some of these habits in your work environment as well if you haven’t already.

Tools can be very helpful to support that, but even using tools is important to do in a way that gives you relief from overwhelm and making the most out of using a system.

One of the tools I use for more efficiency in my work-life is Shift.

Not having a million tabs open on my computer or having to log in and out of different email accounts has made my life easier and given me time back to do more important things.

Is it super efficient? It’s enough for what I need. I’m sure there are things I haven’t figured out that could add even more value but that is where I let the German in me go.

Believe it or not, Germans are even efficient at being on time – in fact, they are early all the time!

You’re probably not surprised when I tell you that I’m on time wherever possible!

When Germans invite you to their house, they’ve usually set up everything at least half an hour before guests are due to arrive. They expect people to arrive on time and often people start showing up 15 minutes early. If they are too early, they usually wait in their car or walk around the block.

It’s a thing!

Don’t ask me why it’s a thing, but Germans plan ahead and always prepare for the unexpected. It’s even seen as rude if you’re late or don’t arrive when you said you would.

Now, why am I telling you this?

For Germans, it’s a sign of respect to be on time. 

Respect for the other person’s time and effort. Respect that someone would give them their time and wouldn’t take it for granted.

Showing up on time shows that respect.

I try to show this respect to others whether it’s for a meeting or catch-up with friends. Quite frankly, it’s not that hard to be on time. 

I use my calendar to prepare my day ahead and make sure I’ll be on time. On top of that, I give every appointment a couple of minutes of buffer beforehand and where possible after. 

You see, German efficiency is a real thing but as I said, it can also be learned.


Pam Doerf is an expert in building strong operational foundations for businesses running remotely. Over the years she has worn many hats and has worked in many different contexts to gain a skill set that can be applied to many areas of business and life.

Pam found her passion in Operations and automating businesses using technology. It’s her greatest satisfaction to see when automation can improve a process, or even a whole business!

Pam has run multiple businesses and built remote teams for over seven years. She has over 20 years of experience in tourism, hospitality, and finance. 

Pam is a genius of efficiency, mastering the art of minimising the input and maximising the output of a team by using technology, systems, and processes, and driving remote work in industries where spending 9-5 at the office is the norm. 

Connect with Pam on LinkedIn here.


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