Each of us believes something that isn’t true at all. Without even realizing it, we put our trusts in myths. Of course, we have the best intentions doing so – but it doesn’t change the fact these things just don’t work! Some productivity myths are particularly prevalent. Let’s take down some of the most popular ones.
The worst kind of a myth isn’t the one that isn’t true. It’s the one which brings harm to you. If you stick with bad habits, you may end up less productive than you’d like. But the results can be far worse than this and they can even lead to exhaustion and burnout.
It’s time to look at a few of them now.
The Longer You Work, The More Work You’ll Get Done
Technically, this one isn’t entirely false. If you devote more time to your tasks, you’ll complete more of them. Sadly, there’s always a catch.
You can’t go on like this forever. Working overtime for several days may work when you face an unexpected crisis but that’s about it. Most of us aren’t designed for such a lifestyle. We need rest, we need our time out, our hobbies and family time. Think about it – even if you manage to somehow avoid getting burn out, where’s the time left to actually enjoy your life?
We’re trying to be more productive to have more time for living our lives – not more time for more working. Avoid exhaustion by staying within your working times so you don’t have to spend weeks or even months healing from the pressure.
You Can Be Productive At Any Time
Some of the most popular questions asked about productivity on Quora go along these lines:
“How do I maintain productivity during my working hours?”
“How do I stay productive throughout my day?”
“How to be productive when I’m not productive?”
People asking this kind of questions have one thing in common – a belief that productivity is something you can upkeep forever. And while you can chug down eight glasses of water daily and keep yourself hydrated easily, productivity doesn’t work like this.
Here’s the key: the most productive people don’t spend their time searching for a golden hack that will help them stay productive 24/7. Instead, they accept that their productivity levels rise and fall.
Learn your own productivity rhythm. Don’t try to change it. Discover when you’re most productive and when you’re not productive at all. Then, organize your work around your peak times.
It’s not about staying productive all the time, but about squeezing most out of your best moments.
Read more: 4 Ways to Deal With a Productivity Block
It’s tempting to be like a computer. Run several processes simultaneously and shrug it off like it’s something normal. But we’re not computers. We’re humans and we’re not good at doing several things at the same time.
It may work for household chores. Doing the laundry while listening to a podcast or talking to your mother while unloading the dishwasher. Sadly, when it comes to most of the job-related assignments, that’s where multitasking stops working.
Getting your attention split into several pieces won’t make you complete tasks faster. It’s doing one thing at the time that renders the best results and limits the mistakes. If you really want to work smarter and faster, focus on a single task and devote all your attention to it – without any distractions.
Staying Busy Equals Staying Productive
It works on the same principle as “quality or quantity”. It’s not how much things you’ve done, but what kind of things. Answering emails from your co-workers isn’t exactly as useful as making twenty cold calls to your potential clients.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you did, but what results it brought. Whether it brought your team closer to finishing the project or opened new opportunities for your company to take. Whether it generated sales and leads or improved the product.
You can be “busy” segregating papers on your desk the entire day. Does it make you productive?
You get the idea, don’t you?
You Don’t Need Breaks
We all need breaks. Frankly, we need them even when we feel like we don’t.
When you want to get things done as soon as possible, it’s easy to get carried away. Some people can sit down and just work until they’re done for the day. They don’t even look like they need a break – they don’t feel like they need one.
Still – let your brain rest and refresh every now and then. Get up from the desk, brew a cup of tea, have a chat with a colleague, take a stroll to a nearby bakery. Taking a little fresh air and stretching your bones will only do you well. Even if you think you’re not tired enough to have a break, don’t wait until you’re dying for it. Make regular pauses as a preemptive method of avoiding exhaustion.
Other People Know Best
Learning from others is something that nobody should be ashamed of. Guidance of those who are more experienced can open countless opportunities for you. In terms of productivity, someone who works really fast and smart can teach you a lot about prioritizing tasks and sorting out your workload.
But there’s always another side of the coin. Some aspects of productivity are very personal and they vary from one human being to another. Nobody can tell you that you should do the heaviest work in the early morning if you’re a night owl. People can’t argue with you that answering emails right away is the best way if you take fifteen minutes to tackle a single message.
Being productive is about knowing yourself as much as it is about knowing the right methodologies. Working in sync with your best hours and organizing your work around your strongest points and patterns is what you know most about. Just because something works best for someone else, it doesn’t mean it will work for you.
You know best what kills your productivity. Don’t let others tell you otherwise.
All These Gold Tips Always Work
Going back to what we just said – there’s no method that works for absolutely everyone.
The most popular productivity tricks and hacks are popular because they work for many people, not because they work for all.
So if you read about that one productivity technique, gave it one, two, three tries – and it totally doesn’t sit with you, it’s alright.
It doesn’t have to. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It doesn’t mean you’re not cut out for being productive. It only means that this one so popular method isn’t the right one for you.
There is no golden rule. People craft productivity theories to help people discover new, better ways. And the discovery is where it ends – what you do with this knowledge, is up to you.
Over to you
What do you think now? How many of these myths mentioned above did you believe in? Get in the comment section now and let us know what other productivity myths have you heard of and why do you think they’re false.