Who knew that achieving productivity in Russia could be as simple as a one word vocabulary?
I’ve noticed from time to time that America and Russia have different understandings of time and planning. This actually does not mean that the people of one nation are more productive than the other. Rather, the triggers for productivity are different.
If you don’t know the triggers, you might find yourself becoming slightly frustrated from time to time. For example, if you are a foreigner in Russia and have met with your Russian co-workers in a planning meeting, you might be surprised that the result of the planning meeting is everyone urgently drinking tea, leaving the office to get some kind of urgent spravka of a personal nature, and in general, urgently engaging in every activity under the sun, except applying the action points that were just discussed in the meeting.
At this moment, you might feel lost and sad, and wonder at which point in your life journey, you took the misstep that left you destined for a meaningless existence in The Motherland.
You might then bitterly gaze out your office window at the overcast skies and watch the sleet pouring down on the slushy streets… and then you notice that Russians are working. And if you watch American news, you already know that Russians are a tireless bunch, manufacturing weapons, hacking foreign political parties, pumping oil out of the ground, trolling heads of state, and all of this in spite of the weather.
And back in your native Idaho or Iowa, you know that people are productive too. And they are productive after careful planning sessions. But here you are, all alone, in the middle of Russia, feeling like you must now personally fulfill all of the activities described in said meeting. Why aren’t your meetings in Russia translating into practical results?
It is questionable whether any meeting is necessary anywhere in the world. However, long planning meetings in Russia are probably less useful than their American counterparts, and are a complete waste of time if you don’t know the one word you must know in order to achieve productivity in Russia.
Here is a list of the One Word You Must Know In Order To Achieve Productivity In Russia:
- Срочно. Since this is a hastily written blog post on a Saturday morning, I don’t have time to translate this word into English for you. But urgently learn the trigger of bustling activity and manufacturing in Russia. That trigger word is срочно. Because unless you urgently learn the word срочно and it’s meaning in English, you will be left perpetually and gloomily staring out your office window. All alone and feeling a sense of urgency.
There is an old Chinese saying that goes something like this: “Nothing is done in the Soviet Union without the word срочно”.
But here is the rookie mistake that most Foreign People In Russia make when employing the word срочно. These silly Russian expats think that you should have a meeting, make a plan, and then wait for everything to become hopelessly urgent before waving this magical wand of Russian manufacturing. Nay, I say!
Instead, you must begin the whole affair by explaining in the most gravest of terms that this work is срочно. Become emotional about the deadline. Then watch in amazement as a vigorous flurry of labor commences, unlike anything ever witnessed in the Western world. I’m not kidding when I say that you might even notice that your co-workers will begin to get their friends to help in the task at hand, often absolutely free of charge.
Because Russians work hard, they just generally see that they should apply themselves to what is urgent and brings results… not to what is endlessly discussed.